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Senate Orders Defence Minister To Retract Statement On Anti-Open Grazing Law

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Senate, yesterday said the anti-open grazing law in Benue and Taraba states is not the cause of killings in the country and ordered the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali to immediately withdraw the statement he made that the anti-grazing law should be suspended.
Specifically, the Senate said it is not only in Benue and Taraba states where the anti-open grazing law is enacted that killings are being perpetrated and that there is no way the minister could attribute the situation of heinous attacks to the law.
The lawmakers are concerned that the government and security agencies have not lived up to responsibility to proffer adequate security solutions to the killings.
The position of the Senate followed a motion by Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue North East) on killing of seven persons in Kwande local government area by armed herdsmen on Tuesday.

According to Gemade, several persons were wounded and houses burnt, just as he said scores are displaced and with no place to take refuge.
Gemade, however noted that instead of finding lasting solution, “most disturbing is the fact that upon all that was discussed at the security meeting held on Tuesday, what came out from the Minister was that the anti-grazing law should be withdrawn.”
He further stated that the anti-open grazing law was enacted by the state legislature to manage land resources and therefore, it is unfortuate for the Minister to hold that the law is the cause of killings because he said, the killings started before the enactment of the law.
While asking that the Minister withdraws the statement, Gemade also requested that one minute silence be observed for the departed souls.
Senator John Enoh (Cross River) said with the comment by the Minister, it appears the security agencies are protecting the herdsmen than finding a solution to abate the killings.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) in his contribution alleged that some Nigerians are collaborating with Libyan trained terrorists to perpetrate killings and attack farmers.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki after the debate put the motion to a voice vote and the Senators unanimously endorsed that the Minister of Defence, Dan-Ali should quickly withdraw his statement on the anti-open grazing law.



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