Fulani Herdsmen: Senate Leader wants stiffer measures against criminality

Posted by News Express | 6 May 2016 | 2,345 times

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Senate Leader Ali Ndume on Thursday advocated stiff measures to deal with all forms of criminalities in the country.

Ndume, also the Head of the Senate ad hoc committee to investigate the recent attack on Ukpabi-Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government

Area of Enugu State, gave the advice in interview with State House correspondents after a visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“In fact, it is part of the consultations we are doing now so that this problem that is growing will be nipped in the bud as early as possible.

“Herdsmen and community relationship or conflict is not new in the country, but this dimension of destruction and killings are not part of it.

“There could be misunderstanding and sometimes they settle it but this one is strange, this one you hear herdsmen carrying AK-47 is not part of it.

“The typical Fulani man carries his stick and a small cutlass to cut grass or leaves from the tree for the animals.

“But this time around you find people carrying AK-47 and destroying the community.

“So we are trying to look at this problem holistically and we are urging the public too to come out and provide the information or suggestions as to how we can address this.”

Ndume said his committee had started consultation with stakeholders to do a holistic public hearing in order to nip the herdmen/farmers clash in the bud.

According to him, it is possible that the insinuation that the so- called herdsmen were Boko Haram members could be true.

“A criminal is a criminal and should be treated as such.

“Whether it is Boko Haram or Fulani, what is going on is criminality and should be treated as such.

“One thing that we did not want is to put religious coloration or tribal coloration into it.

“That was how we missed the opportunity to nip Boko Haram by the bud.

“When it started, instead of addressing it as a criminal activity and treating it as such, people ascribed religious and tribal sentiments.

“Before we knew it was about to consume all of the country.

“So we don’t want to make that mistake this time around.

“A criminal activity in the South or West of East or North is criminal activity and should be treated as such.”

Ndume said people should avoid ascribing such dastardly acts to Fulani “as the Fulanis are neither strangers in the country nor their cattle grazing new.”

Ndume commended the arrest of some suspects in the Enugu attack, adding that ''the onus is on the security personnel to determine their full identity, sponsors, links and how they were equipped.”

He said the directive of the president to security officials was instructive.

On the insurgency in the North East, Ndume appealed to Nigerians to donate food stuff to the Internally Displaced Persons.

According to him, the next war to be fought in the North East was the war against hunger.

“It is true that we have received a lot of sympathy and support, but we need more.

“Only God knows the level of damage that the insurgency has done to our people.

“And you can imagine most of our people are subsistence farmers that feed from what they have harvested the previous year.

“For two or three years now, some communities have not been able to go to their farm.

“So the food challenge, the next war we are going to face in the North East is the war against hunger.

“People are dying of hunger, people are helping but we need more help.”

Ndume said that the effect of hunger was staring on the whole country due to the poor rainfall in the country. (NAN)

•Photo shows Sen. Ndume.

Source: News Express

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