Northern Senators Forum, yesterday, disclosed plans are underway to come up with laws that would curb activities of rampaging Fulani herdsmen around the country.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the group, led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said clashes between herdsmen and farmers were avoidable. The group called on state governors as well to desist from making comments capable of inciting citizens against each other.
Senator Adamu assured that members of the group would work assiduously to enact laws and amend existing ones in order to promote the interest of Northern Nigeria, in particular, and the country at large.
Adamu, however, stressed that categorisation of all herdsmen as Fulanis was wrong. He added that he had seen herdsmen that were Yoruba as well as others that were igbo.
“I have a farm, I rear cows. I am not Fulani by birth. If you go through, the northern states, you will see a lot of them. In fact, if you go to the East, you will see young men who have assimilated with the Fulanis in their various communities and they are involved in cattle rearing.
“It creates the wrong impression that every- body you see with a cow is a Fulani man and, therefore, becomes a common target for the present problem we are addressing as a government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, yesterday dis- closed that government will go ahead with a plan to import grass to plant in grazing reserves.
Already, nine states had signified interest to provide land for the re- serves.
Speaking during his appearance on the second day of sectoral debates in the House of Representatives on key sectors of the economy, Ogbeh said professionally managed grazing reserves would stop herdsmen from moving into people’s farms in search high quality grass to feed their cows.
According to the minister, who spoke on the solution to bloody clashes between Fulani herdsman and farmers, the special grass, which contains a higher level of protein, is similar to the specie found in Enugu and Agatu.
“When we talked about importing grass for the grazing reserves, people reacted negatively to it.
“But, nine states have written to me to develop grazing lands. We intend to use boreholes to wet these areas. There are grasses and there are grasses. These grasses were taken from Nigeria, worked upon, and now, they are better.”
In a related development, Senate, yester- day, resolved to enact a law, prescribing death penalty for kidnappers to serve as deterrent and curb the menace in the country.
This followed the adoption of recommendations of the report of by the Joint Committee on Police Affairs, National Security and Intelligence on the “unfortunate reoccurrence of kidnapping and hostage taking.’’
Although the report had only six recommendations, senators sued for stringent punishment to serve as deterrent, which prompted an addition and adoption of the recommendation for death penalty.
Senate also adopted the recommendation that the funding of security agencies be taken as a priority project while efforts should be geared to create employment opportunity to the country’s teaing unemployed youths.
Senate also resolved that security agencies should embark on training and retraining of their personnel and also urged state governments to enact laws that would aid prosecution of kidnappers.
The upper legislative chamber also called for more vigorous information sharing among security agencies while also encouraging heads of security agencies to do more in checking kidnapping.
While presenting the report of the joint committee, Senator Abu Ibrahim said kidnap- ping, which started in some regions, has now become a nationwide menace.
He noted that security agencies knew the mode of operation of the kidnappers but were usually hampered by availability of funds.
The report further noted that there was undue rivalry between security agencies which brought about lack of synergy.