By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The House of Representatives, yesterday, asked security agencies to criminalise open grazing due to its concomitant threat to citizens’ lives, property and food production, pending when laws were enacted to promote such practices.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ben Rollands Igbakpa (Ethiope East/Ethiope Federal Constituency of Delta State) at yesterday’s plenary.
Igbakpa told the House that 36 persons, including four lecturers, were killed, between 2014 and 2018 in his constituency as a result of the open grazing.
He also stated that his constituents, who were predominantly agrarian and well known for production of stable food, had been subjected to frustration as they felt insecure in their farms.
The lawmaker said Delta State University was also situated at Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area and provides enabling environment for many lecturers to engage in farming on part time basis.
“In this year, 2019, a total of eight persons have been gruesomely murdered for daring to insist that the herdsmen should not graze on their farms of which, not a single prosecution had been recorded to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The continued nomadic activities into the communities of Abraka, Eku and environs for grazing are a total call for anarchy which cannot be tolerated.”
Adopting the motion, the House urged security agencies, including Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, Department of State Service and Nigerian Civil Defence and Security Corps, NSCDC, to urgently midwife a meeting of stakeholders in Ethiope Federal Constituency and leaders of the herdsmen, with the view to dousing the tension and find a lasting solutions to the recurring security issue.
Similarly, the House also mandated its Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethnic and Values to conduct a hearing on the challenges facing the National Orientation Agency, with a view to charting a way forward for the agency to fulfill its statutory mandate.
The resolution was passed, sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Olajide Olatubosun (APC-Oyo), who frowned on the failure of the agency to effectively discharge its statutory functions over the past 20 years of democratic dispensation.