The Southern Senators’ Forum says killer herdsmen who turned to banditry are terrorising Nigerians and commended steps taken by southern governors to stem the rising insecurity.
The forum disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement by its Chairman, Secretary-General and Publicity Secretary, Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti), Matthew Uroghide (PDP-Edo), and Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu).
The forum lauded the governors for taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning the open grazing of cattle.
The senators said the unanimous policy would check those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror on the region through kidnapping and killing.
At a meeting in Asaba on Tuesday, the governors unanimously passed a resolution 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 but lamented how farmers in the region lost millions of naira to the plundering of food crops to herders’ encroachments on farmlands.
The forum stated, “At this critical point of our national life when the economy is bedevilled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment, and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.”
It further noted that “available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the South” due to the “ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.”
The senators added, “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.”