Senators from the South under the auspices of Southern Senators Forum (SSF) on Wednesday unanimously demanded for the restructuring of the country, implementation of state police and ban on open grazing.
Arising from a meeting in Asaba, Delta State, the lawmakers urged governors from the region to ensure the inclusion of these resolutions in the forthcoming constitution review exercise.
They also urged governors from the region to follow up on their resolutions by quickly approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working with the two arms of the parliament to ensure that their resolutions are quickly addressed.
These, they say, will ensure national cohesion and peace, even as they commended the governors for taking a firm position on other burning national issues like kidnapping and killing of people in the region.
The federal lawmakers agreed that the stance by the state executives “would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror” on citizens.
A statement jointly signed by the SSF Chairman, Secretary General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Mathew Uroghide (Edo) and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu), also applauded the step, adding that it would serve as a buffer to wanton destruction of farmlands, kidnappings and carnages.
According to them, “Southern farmers were losing Hundreds of millions of Naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.”
The senators expressed regrets that at “this critical point of our national life when the economy was 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records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.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 were 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. “
The statement also commended the governors for “ruminating on the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the highly lopsided Nigerian nation, saying this will also help to remove the venom that had permeated the land on account of alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.”
The SSF asserted that allowing for “equality, equity and justice in the way the country is being run will wipe out ethnic tension , restore peace and stability and ward off agitations for secession that are now gaining tractions across the land.”