Saraki says Fulani herdsmen get weapons from other countries and bring them into Nigeria for attacks
The senate president says to stop the attacks in Nigeria, ECOWAS parliament needs to stop easy acquisition of weapons in the region
Saraki says West African governments including Nigeria’s need to do more to stop terrorist organisations like Boko Haram from destabilizing the region
Senate President Bukola Saraki has revealed the reason for the constant killings by herdsmen across Nigeria and also presented a solution to the issue.
The Punch reports that Saraki said the clashes between herdsmen and farmers continue unabated because the cattle herders are acquiring illegal arms from neighbouring countries.
Saraki therefore charged the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States to find ways stop the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and deal with the growing insecurity in the region.
The chief lawmaker of Nigeria made the disclosure and gave the charge during his speech at the opening session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Wednesday, May 10.
He said: “Nigeria is currently faced with the problems of herdsmen and farmers clashing with most of the weapons used coming from illicit acquisitions at the borders. The circulation of illegal arms within and across the states has increased the proclivity of conflicts within the sub-region.”
On West Africa’s success against Boko Haram and the recent releases of 82 Chibok girls, Saraki said: “The problem of Boko Haram and terrorism remains a clear and present threat to the security of the sub-region.
“There is no doubt that we have made remarkable achievements in this area especially with the recent release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls.
“While we celebrate this achievement, we must not lose sight of the continuous threat Boko Haram and all the terrorist groups in the region pose as a destabilising factor for democracy across the length and breadth of the sub-region.”
On his part, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Moustapha Lo charged West African nations to do more in the area of insecurity.
Saraki’s words contradict those of the Nigeria Police Force which claimed that the herdsmen are not Nigerians.
We recall that former inspector-general of police Solomon Arase had linked recent attacks by herdsmen on farmlands and communities in the country to the porous state of Nigerian borders.
The police boss stated this during the weekend at an interactive session with stakeholders on community policing in Akure, Ondo state.
Arase said that most troublesome herdsmen were foreigners who entered the country with their cattle unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens of Nigeria.
Arase’s position was backed by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the minister of state for Agriculture, who said the herdsmen attacking communities are not Nigerians.
Lokpobiri said his submission came on the heels of findings by his ministry that none of the apprehended herdsmen were able to speak any of the Nigerian languages in police custody.