Some members of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly under the aegis of the Southern Senators’ Forum have thrown their weight behind the Southern governors calling for nation’s restructuring and convocation of national dialogue to address the wide spread agitations in the country.
The senators also advised the Southern governors to take urgent steps to stem the tide of insecurity in the region.
In a statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Bamidele Opeyemi (APC Ekiti); Secretary-General, Matthew Uroghide (PDP Edo); and Publicity Secretary, Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu); the forum also endorsed the banning of open grazing of cows in the region as agreed upon by the governors during their last meeting in Asaba, Delta State.
According to the senators, such a unanimous policy would check those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.
They condemned the activities of herdsmen that had led to many farmers in the region losing millions of naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands thereby exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.
The statement read: “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records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.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.
“We salute the governors for the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the country. This would help remove the incessant agitations over alleged neglect of certain sections of the country. Only equity and justice in the running of the country would wipe out ethnic tension, restore peace and stability and end ethnic agitations
“We, therefore, ask the governors to swiftly follow up their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly tonensure a working together. This would also ensure that the governors’ positions on restructuring, state police and the ban on open grazing are addressed through the ongoing constitution review.”