SWITZERLAND, JUNE 09 – The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to end the entry of illegal herdsmen into Nigeria from other African Countries.
The House on Tuesday following a motion moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu asked the Federal government to set in process the motion to amend the ECOWAS treaties on free movement of people and goods.
Moving the motion, Elumelu said the attacks allegedly carried out by herdsmen are affecting agricultural activities, which he said will threaten food security in the country.
“In recent years, herdsmen have been on the rampage, destroying farmlands, burning villages and killing innocent Nigerians indiscriminately in many states across the federation.
“Nigerian security agents have consistently stated that those herdsmen are not Nigerians but migrants from other African countries.
“Those herdsmen who are militant in nature have consistently instilled fear in the lives of local farmers and villagers living in the affected areas by the use of coercion, intimidation, brute force and extreme violence, in most cases, leaving a large number of persons dead.”
Elumelu added that herdsmen could become like Boko Haram if left unchecked. He noted that the Federal government should heed the warning of Governor Umar Guanduje of Kano State.
“The violent conflicts between the nomadic herders from neighbouring countries and local farmers is escalating by the day to more states of the federation, and if left unchecked will further threaten the security and stability of the nation.
“The clashes are becoming potentially as dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, yet to date, response to the crisis at both the federal and state levels has been very poor and ineffective.
“It has become necessary to lend a voice to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State that a stop be put to the movement of herdsmen from other African countries to Nigeria, so as to curb the rate of crime and conflicts associated with their movements across Nigeria.’
Speaking on the motion, Nasir Ali from Kano State urged the House to limit the restriction on “illegal herders.” Noting that there are legal herders who come to Nigeria to sell goods.
The House, therefore, mandated the Committees on Police Affairs, Army and Interior to interface with the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian and Immigration Service respectively on the best ways of policing and securing the Nigerian borders.