Restructuring will end herdsmen attacks on farmers, says Ekweremadu

 By Obinna Achi, Enugu

 

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has stated that incessant attack in Igbo land and some other parts of the country by suspected herdsmen would only abate when the country restructure its system of governance.

 

This is just as Ekweremadu also asked affected states to pass legislations restricting cattle rearing to modern ranches, suggesting that forest rangers to enforce such laws.

 

The Deputy Senate President’s position is contained in a statement issued on his behalf by his Special Adviser (Media), Uche Anichukwu.

 

In it, Ekweremadu also maintained that unless Nigeria was restructured to make it more efficient and productive, it would be difficult for the country to wriggle out of security challenges, pervasive poverty, and retarded growth, as successive leaders would only be dealing with the symptoms and not the root causes of a festering illness.

 

The statement said that Ekweremadu spoke at the weekend in New York, the United States of America, during the 2016 Convention of the World Igbo Congress (WIC)

 

It said that Ekweremadu noted that while the country awaited the much-needed restructuring, the incessant havocs wrecked by suspected herdsmen was unacceptable because they had monumental socio-economic consequences on the nation.

It said that while commending the efforts of various state governments at managing the humanitarian crisis resulting from the attacks and ensuring there was no total breakdown of law and order, the lawmaker emphasised that every legitimate step must be taken to end the menace and avoid a dangerous situation where the people begin to resort to self-help.

 

“Governments of various states in Igbo land and indeed other parts of the country should immediately consider enacting legislations that confine cattle-rearing to modern ranches as obtainable in developed societies.

 

“In fact, our governments could go a step further to invest in constructing and leasing out modern ranches. This will produce healthier animals, give better products, provide employment, added value to the farm products, and help in promoting peaceful co-existence as well as sifting armed bandits and terrorists from real farmers doing legitimate business”.

 

It said that Senator Ekweremadu, however, warned that enforcement of such measures should not be left entirely in the hands of the federal security agencies.

 

“Sadly, when you enact laws to checkmate the menace, as Ekiti State has commendably done, you will still rely on the same security institutions to enforce them. This is the dilemma.

 

“Therefore, our state governments should take   further step by ensuring that such legislations provide for enforcement bodies, such as Forest Rangers, which will consistently comb the forests to ensure that those who run foul of the laws are arrested and speedily prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others”.

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