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Nigerian Senate Stops Moves For New Grazing Routes

The Senate's decision followed a motion of urgent national importance raised by Senator Isah Jibrin, representing Kogi East, concerning the recent deadly attacks by herdsmen in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.

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The Nigerian Senate has rejected a proposal to create new grazing routes for herdsmen, intended to prevent cattle from straying into farmlands and grazing on cash crops—a frequent cause of conflict with local farmers.

The proposal, presented by Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), was aimed at urging the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to establish these routes to mitigate the clashes.

The Senate’s decision followed a motion of urgent national importance raised by Senator Isah Jibrin, representing Kogi East, concerning the recent deadly attacks by herdsmen in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Senator Jibrin reported that these attacks had resulted in the deaths of over 500 residents, the destruction of homes, and the displacement of many inhabitants.

He highlighted that communities such as Agojeju Odo, Ajokpachi Odo, Bagaji, and Bagana had been devastated, rendering more than 30,000 people homeless.

Senator Jibrin detailed a specific incident on April 30, when gunmen attacked Ajokpachi Odo, killing at least three people and leaving the community in dire need of medical and other forms of aid.

The Senate observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims and urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, along with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to provide necessary relief materials to the affected communities.

Supporting the summit initiative, former Senate President Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) stressed the economic significance of the livestock industry, valued at N30 trillion annually, and advocated for government assistance to herders affected by cattle rustling.

He noted that similar support had been extended to banks and power companies in the past. Senator Adams Oshiomhole and Senator Sunday Karimi also backed the summit, emphasizing its potential to offer holistic solutions.

Jibrin highlighted a tragic incident where over 500 residents were killed, and their homes destroyed by herdsmen. In response, Senator Monguno suggested that establishing grazing routes would offer a lasting solution to the persistent violence between herders and farmers.

Lawan advocated for government support for herders who have suffered cattle losses due to rustling, drawing parallels to past government bailouts for banks and subsidies for power companies.

He emphasized that addressing this issue is critical for both security and economic stability. Senator Adams Oshiomhole, a former Labour leader, proposed a national summit to find comprehensive solutions to the farmer-herder conflicts, a suggestion supported by Senator Sunday Karimi of Kogi West.

The Senate agreed to organize such a summit to address the ongoing violence. Efforts to establish ranches for herders have faced opposition from cattle breeders, who argue that it infringes upon their traditional practices.

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