The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, on Tuesday, warned the Federal Government that the Fulani herdsmen who have been on the rampage in several parts of the country could become another Boko Haram insurgents, saying their activities are threatening existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity. Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday, warned that the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in different parts of the country is capable of breaking up the nation if unchecked.
Speaking when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, paid homage to him in his palace in llorin, Alhaji Sulu-Gambari said that the Federal Government should be more serious in dealing with the incessant security issue. Osinbajo was in Ilorin on official visit to lay foundation stone of an integrated steel project of a private steel company, Kam Industries Limited at Jimba- Oja, Ganmo, Ifelodun Local Government Area.
The royal father, who spoke on the background of recurring cases of herdsmen/farmers attacks in most parts of the country, said the call became imperative so that it does not degenerate to a repeat of Boko Haram menace. The Emir, who is the chairman, Kwara State Council of Traditional Rulers, said the herdsmen were not Nigerians, added that they are migrating herdsmen from other parts of Africa. “People get it wrong when they describe the rampaging and destructive herdsmen as Fulani herdsmen.
They are not Fulani. They are wandering and migrating tribe of people going everywhere. They are here to destroy Nigeria entity. So, it behooves on the Federal Government to be more serious on the issue so that it doesn’t become another Boko Haram on our hands”, he said. Also speaking, the vice president described his visit to the state, and Ilorin town in particular as a homecoming, saying it would have been unusual for him not to have paid the homage. He said the visit to the state was a happy occasion, saying that the country had every reason to be proud of the feat recorded by the manufacturing outfit, particularly at attracting both local and international attention.
Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday, warned that the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in different parts of the country is capable of breaking up the nation if unchecked. Dogara therefore called for a deliberate and proactive action by the Federal Government to end the incessant clashes between the two groups from escalating further. Dogara gave the warning in Abuja while declaring open the public hearing organised by the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services.
The speaker, who was represented by Rep. Onyema Chukwuka, tasked the committee and stakeholders to make appropriate recommendations that will guide the House in the enactment of appropriate legislations that will guarantee peaceful co-existence amongst farming communities and herdsmen. According to him, the public hearing will assist the House to enact laws that will also provide affordable credit to Nigerian farmers, enable farmers to procure fertilizer and other farm inputs with minimum effort, provide enabling environment for all season farming, ensure increased agricultural production both as a means of guaranteeing internal food security and diversifying the economy from over dependence on oil, amongst many other prospects.
Speaking at the hearing, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who expressed concern over criticisms trailing the proposed importation of grasses for cattle grazing, especially on social media, warned that the challenge may boomerang if no concrete action is taken in checkmating the menace of farmers/herdsmen clashes. Earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Rep. Mohammed Munguno said “the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in various host communities across the country is a very topical issue that requires the intervention and input of various stakeholders.”
He said that all hands must be on deck to nip the looming crisis in the bud by eradicating the clashes between farmers and herdsmen because it has the potential of stalling economic diversification and security as well as threatening the unity of the country. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Lawal Daura, following the massacre of over 40 persons in Enugu State by persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. The resolution to invite the DSS boss was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Rep. Chukwuemeka Ujam (PDP-Nkanu East/ Nkanu West) on the gruesome murder of innocent residents of Ukpabi, Nimbo community of Uzo Uwani Local Government Area allegedly by Fulani herdsmen.