Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives at the plenary yesterday urged the federal government to put to a halt to the entry of herdsmen from other African countries into Nigeria.
It also directed its 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 (NIS) respectively on the best ways of policing and securing the Nigerian borders.
The committees are to report back to it in four weeks for further legislative action.
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion, titled, ‘Need to stop the Entry of Herdsmen from other African Countries into Nigeria,’ sponsored by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
Presenting the motion, Elumelu said that in recent years, herdsmen have been on rampage, destroying farmlands, burning villages and killing of innocent Nigerians indiscriminately in many states across the federation.
He noted that the Nigerian security agents have consistently stated that those herdsmen are not Nigerians but migrants from other African countries;
The lawmaker expressed concerns that 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 intimidation, brute force and in most cases leaving a large number of persons dead.
Elumelu expressed worries that the clashes are becoming potentially as dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, saying that response to the crisis at both the federal and state levels have been very poor and ineffective.
He said 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, adding that if left unchecked, it will further threaten the security and stability of the nation.
Similarly, the House also adopted a motion on the ‘Need to open up rural roads to connect communities that are frequently attacked by Boko Haram Insurgents in Local Government Areas Contiguous to the Sambisa Forest’, sponsored by Hon. Haruna Mshelia
It resolved to urge the North–East Development Commission, in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Defence through the Army Engineering Corps to, as a matter of urgency commence the construction of rural roads connecting all the communities.
Moving the motion, Mshelia said that several communities consisting of towns, villages including Tashan Allade, Kirmi, Garbwala, Debiro, Tarfa, Chanchandana, Lehu, Askira, Bigibigi, and Garkida situated in Hawul, Askira/Uba, Biu, and Gombi local government areas of Borno State do not have interconnected rural roads linking each other.
He noted that all these communities were at one time or the other severally attacked by Boko Haram insurgents, but because of the resilience of the people, they are still living in such communities.
He expressed worry that due to the proximity of these communities to the infamous Sambisa Forest, the lack of basic infrastructure means that whenever Boko Haram attacks, even security forces find it difficult to easily navigate the area in pursuit of the insurgents.