The Southern Senators’ Forum has commended steps taken by state governors from the region to stem the rise in insecurity. The forum disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Secretary-General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti), Matthew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo), and Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu).
The forum lauded the governors for outrightly taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning the open grazing of cattle.
The senators said that such a unanimous policy would check those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash the terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governors at a meeting in Asaba, on Tuesday, unanimously passed a verdict prohibiting open grazing in the region among other positions.
The senators said the step would help secure the region and return it to the path of peace.
The senators lamented how farmers in the region were losing millions of Naira to the plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands thereby exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.
“At this critical point of our national life when the economy is being bedeviled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment, and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.
“Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.
“Most appalling is the seemingly unabated kidnapping, raping, and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.
“With this uniform resolve by our governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self-sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914,” they said.
They also saluted the governors for the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the country.
They said it would help to remove the incessant agitations over alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.
The forum stated that only equity and justice in the running of the country would wipe out ethnic tension, restore peace and stability and end ethnic agitations
They, therefore, encouraged the governors to swiftly follow up their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working together.
They said the National Assembly would ensure that their positions on restructuring, state police, and the ban on open grazing were addressed through the ongoing constitution review.