The Southern Senators’ Forum has commended steps taken by state governors from the region to stem the rise in insecurity.
Recall that the Southern Governors’ Forum on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to urgently convoke a national dialogue to address the wide spread agitations in the nation.
The 15 members in attendance also called for restructuring of the country leading to the evolution of state police.
The governors also called for enforcement of the ban on open grazing in the south (including cattle movement to the south by foot).
Reacting, the Senators in a statement jointly signed by their Chairman, Secretary-General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti), Matthew Uroghide (PDP-Edo) and Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu) lauded the governors for outrightly taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning the open grazing of cattle.
The senators said that such a unanimous policy would check those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.
The senators lamented how farmers in the region were losing millions of Naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands thereby exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.
“At this critical point of our national life when the economy is being bedeviled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.
“Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.
“Most appalling is the seemingly unabated kidnapping, raping and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.
“With this uniform resolve by our governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self -sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914,” NAN quoted the forum as saying.
They also saluted the governors for the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the country.
They said it would help to remove the incessant agitations over alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.
The forum stated that only equity and justice in the running of the country would wipe out ethnic tension, restore peace and stability and end ethnic agitations
They, therefore, encouraged the governors to swiftly follow up their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working together adding that it would ensure that their positions on restructuring, state police and the ban on open grazing were addressed through the ongoing constitution review.