OrderPaperToday – The Senate has asked the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali to retract a statement wherein he called for suspension of the anti-grazing law in some states of the country.
This followed a point of order raised by Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue) on Wednesday during plenary.
In making the call, Sen. Gemade cited another spree of killings which took place two days ago at a local government in his senatorial district that resulted in the “death of 7 people, leaving homes burnt and persons wounded.”
He said: “Following the recent events in Benue state, we are under siege by unknown satanic forces which have gone under several names: herdsmen, gunmen, bandits. While we are looking up to the government and security agencies for protection, we get so dismayed by the attitude of those who lead these security forces.
“Yesterday, the security chiefs met with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. We don’t know what they discussed. But after the meeting, the Minister of Defence came out and made a statement and in that statement, he said the states of Benue and Taraba that have enacted the law on anti-grazing must remove that law.”
He described Dan-Ali’s statement as “strange” bearing in mind the “problem of hundreds and thousands of people being killed in the states of Benue and Taraba is that the law they made against open grazing of cattle where you cannot control the conflict between herdsmen and farmers should be removed so that anarchy can go on as it was the case before.”
Senator Gemade expressed dismay saying “we know that farmers and herders need the land but there should be a way where a law will be enacted to ensure that one person is using the land according to law. This is not the first time we’ll hear this kind of absurd statement coming from no less a personality than the minister of defence.
“He (Dan-Ali) is from Zamfara State and I wonder of all the killings in the state are also as a result of the anti-grazing law. And if the killings in Zamfara has nothing to do with the anti-grazing law, why does he think that killings in other states are because they enacted the law?”
The therefore stated that the red chamber “must advice the minister of defence to promptly withdraw that statement that he has brought to the public domain.”
His prayer was adopted.