The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday underscored the need for dialogue to find a lasting solution to herders/natives feud across Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila was fielding questions from State House reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
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Reacting to a question on the herders/natives unhealthy relationship in the Southwest and the Southeast, he said: “Everybody just have to come to the table and discuss and come to amicable resolution which I’m sure we will.
“I don’t think any ethnic group should lord it over any ethic group, the south west should not lord it over the north, the north should not lord it over the south.
“We should respect each other’s trade, geographical space, history, culture and more importantly the issue of crime, murder, all those things should be completely jettisoned. But more importantly, we all have to sit on the table and discuss this matter and look for the way forward. I think everybody is willing to do that.
“From the National Assembly, solutions will come from talking. I believe that now that we’re about to start work on Tuesday, I know these issues will come up and adequate and proper legislation that’ll address the issue frontally and in the best interest of the country, and all nations that make up the nation such legislation will be put in place.”
Women protest in Edo, Bayelsa
Meanwhile, hundreds of women from Uromi community in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State on Wednesday protested against rape and kidnappings by suspected herdsmen.
The women, who blocked roads in the area, demanded that herdsmen vacate the community.
The protesters were chanting, “Fulani must go.”
They said they could no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed by herdsmen.
When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the situation had been brought under control.
Also, many women from Epie/Atissa communities in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Wednesday blocked roads to protest against alleged excesses of herdsmen in the area.
One of them said: “Enough is enough, herdsmen should leave our farmland. We cannot continue to keep quiet over this issue. We cannot labour only for crops to be destroyed and our means of livelihood destroyed.
“Our very existence revolves around our farmlands. We don’t want cattle in our area again. It’s time for government to act and save us from their impunity.”
Again, DSS raises alarm on plot to cause violence
The Department of State Services on Wednesday said some groups and individuals were desperate to cause entho-religious violence in some parts of the country.
DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, in a statement, said anyone or groups of persons found to be desperate to subvert public order would face the full wrath of the law.
He said the groups had continued to resort to inciting, unguarded and divisive statements and acts capable of causing ethno-religious violence “to pit citizens against one another in order to apparently inflame the embers of tribal and religious discords.”
Fish out criminals–CAN, NSCIA tell DSS
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday challenged the DSS to fish out criminals rather than continue to raise the alarm of plots to cause violence in the country.
CAN spokesman, Adebayo Oladeji, in a statement, said killings had been happening in the country without bringing those responsible to book, querying whether the DSS was not aware.
“People are being kidnapped on the highways and in their residences without any arrest. We wonder why? Those shedding the innocent blood and those kidnapping for ransom, are they spirits?
NSCIA spokesman, Ibrahi, Aselemi, in a statement, said: “We hereby call on the security apparatus, especially the DSS, to fish out these enemies of the state and deal with them according to the law. This is because it’s only when criminal elements are punished that we can effectively give potency to deterrence.
“On our part, we shall continue to advocate for respect for the religious beliefs of all and peaceful religious coexistence in Nigeria. We sincerely believe we’re greater together.”
Act fast before it’s too late, Ortom tells Buhari
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast on issues bordering insecurity before the challenges disintegrate the country.
Ortom, who spoke in Makurdi, said: “The federal government and the presidency must act fast because there’s general insecurity in all parts of the country and it’s propelled by herdsmen. I say it again, the Myetti Allah leadership must be arrested.
“The reality is here. Why is the federal government being silent about herdsmen? Why is the federal government not arresting them? What is happening now has the potential of dividing this country,” Ortom said.
He reminded President Buhari of his promise to be fair to all Nigerians, saying “what’s going on in the country can divide the nation, some of us believe in the unity of this country; we believe in leaders because we know that leadership is by God and we have to advise you (Buhari) when things are going wrong. You must listen to the people who tell you the truth of how things are going in the nation.
“Mr president, if anybody is telling you that all is well, such people are deceiving you; it’s not well with Nigerians as of today, you must act fast before it’s too late.”
Don’t encourage purveyors of disintegration, Ogun gov warns residents
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday warned residents of the state and Nigerians against encouraging those stoking embers of violence and disintegration in Nigeria.
Abiodun made the call on the occasion to mark the state’s 45th anniversary, saying “We must eschew all forms of violence and learn to live together. We must also appreciate that there can be no development in an atmosphere of insecurity.”
Ikpeazu to security agencies: arrest killer-herdsmen
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Wednesday urged security agencies to arrest killer herdsmen in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi-Kalu, in a statement, condemned the recent destruction of farmlands by cows grazing openly in violation of extant laws.
He also flayed the activities of herdsmen suspected to have masterminded the recent kidnap around Abia North.
He said Governor Ikpeazu had directed the security agencies to bring to justice all those involved in the criminal activities.
Our settlements not razed in S/east, South-south – Fulani leaders
Leaders of the Hausa-Fulani residing in the South-east and South -south on Wednesday dispelled the rumours making the round in the social media that Fulani huts were set ablaze by suspected hoodlums in the zones.
Sani Baba Gombe, Chief of Nasarawa northern settlements in Calabar Municipal Council, told Daily Trust that “nothing of such has happened to us in the whole South-south zone.”
Also, the Garkuwan Hausa Special Assistant on Northerners to Imo State Governor, Alhaji Suleman Ibrahim Suleman, described the rumour of attacks on Fulani settlements as “mischievous and barbaric, “fabricated by enemies of peace and stability of Nigeria. There’s nothing like that in the whole of the Southeast as I speak to you.”
Northern youths warn Igboho over attacks on herders
The Northern Youth Consultative Initiative has warned the self-acclaimed Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, to stop attacking innocent Nigerians, especially Fulani herders lawfully carrying out their legitimate business in the southwest.
Its national convener, Bappare Mohammed, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government and the southwest governors to take urgent steps to protect the lives and unite Nigerians “as it’s more glaring that the ethnic division is increasingly deteriorating and this may eminently lead to ethnic bloodbath.
“The attempt by these bigots, fanning the embers of crisis using ethnic coloration, calls for serious action from the side of those in the helm of affairs of this nation.”
By Muideen Olaniyi, Abbas Jimoh (Abuja), Eugene Agha (Lagos), Usman A. Bello (Benin), Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Hope Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi) & Musa Kutama (Calabar)