• Says lawmakers, govs, LG councillors can resolve issues through dialogue
The Senate, yesterday, finally opened up herdsmen and farmers /clashes advising that the Federal Government hands off the issue for the States and their Local Government Areas resolve the matter.
The Senate maintained that the FG has no role to play in the resolution of such matter as it assured that the clashes would be resolved locally.
President Muhammadu Buhari had through his media aide, Garba Shehu, opposed a recent directive by Ondo State Government that Fulani herdsmen who were not registered should vacate the state forest reserves.
Buhari expressed the concern that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, as a lawyer, could unilaterally issue the quit order without taking cognizance of the constitution that guarantees the rights of citizens to move and to live in any part of the country.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday, Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said: “We promised to reconvene on January 26 but because of the registration being undertaken by the majority party we had to extend our resumption by about two weeks.
“This is a kind of crisis and my own personal observation is the country is trending towards governance trajectory where some political actors and ethnic entrepreneurs are coming into the process and spoiling the waters. These are existential issues that have set communities that have hitherto lived together peacefully, against each other either for political advantage or political matters.
“I think these are issues that should be resolved at the local level either through dialogue or give and take. They are people that lived together, they should come together over dialogue at the local level. Prof. Yelena Tamnor has said distant hosts do not quench the local fire, the Federal Government is too distant to resolve every communal dispute everywhere. Intercommunal disputes should be resolved by the people in the area.
“They should be resolved by political leaders at whatever level; at the level of the National Assembly, at the level of the governors, local government councilors to sit down with their people so that a lot of these issues can be articulated and addressed by the local population. This is what the governors at their levels should do, not always run to the presidency to solve one dispute here and there. How many arms does the Federal Government have?
“This is a federation and we are all politically responsible leaders. At the various level where they are, they should sit down and talk to one another on these disputes. I can assure you that in no distant time these inter-communal conflagrations would be resolved. I think the way it may be resolved is in the interest of this country’s unity and integrity.”
Abdullahi also spooks on the appointment of the ex-service chiefs as ambassadors: “Now that we are resuming, some of the issues you have raised about the nomination of the service chiefs as ambassadors, I think we have not actually brought it to the floor of the Senate yet. Communication would be read hopefully by the Senate President tomorrow and whatever happens, we will pass it on to the committee on foreign affairs, and then the committee on foreign affairs will now do its deliberation.
“I am not one under this situation to preempt whatever the committee is going to decide, because the committee is made up of several responsible and experienced senators who have also been ambassadors themselves so they will know exactly what is required for people to be appointed as ambassadors to represent the country in whatever country.
“As the leader of the Senate, this will be brought to the floor of the Senate. The committee will do its work and after that, they will bring the report to the Senate. I am sure all the questions will not escape the committee. I don’t want to pre-empt them. Let them do what is just and right and let them apply all the criteria for the appointment of ambassadors for the country.
“There would be hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday a general motion, I think it will be sponsored by the deputy Senate leader Ajayi Borroficce, he will come with a motion on the issue on the floor of the Senate tomorrow. Of course in the course of the discussion, we are dealing with the old generic thing about this particular issue that you are raising on the conflagration all over the country and then on the basis of that some prayers are coming on, some explanations are there and some senators resolve, discuss all these issues.
“When senators discuss it is going to be very rich because we come from the variety of areas all over the country, who will share their own experiences and then on the bases of that we coke up with resolutions that will address some of these issues and make some recommendations that various authorities at whatever level will see what to be done to find solutions.”