Farmers, herders clashes threaten food security, Senate President raises the alarm

• Cautions against ethnic profiling

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has again expressed concern over the prevailing farmers, herders clashes across the country.

Speaking, on Thursday, while playing host to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CB, Senator Lawan warned that unless the security agencies reversed the trend, it could threaten food security since farmers would not be able to engage in productive farming.

He however assured that the security agencies were determined to address the ugly situation.

He said: “I’m of the view that because the raining season will be here in the next two, three months, we need to secure the whole environment because for the peasant Nigerian, what is crucial to him is to be alive and go to his farm.

“If the environment is not secured, farmers will not be able to go to farms and that will be a big challenge to us because it is not going to be easy for us to provide food for all the Nigerian peasant farmers.

“So we are working together with the Executive arm of government and we are going to achieve a remarkable result.”
Lawan further restated his caution against the ethnic profiling of individuals undermining the security of the country as he noted that it would complicate the security menace Nigerians are contending with.

“I believe in every society or community, we have criminals…In every ethnic group, you have good people, you have bad people. Therefore, as leaders, we shouldn’t allow ourselves fall into the temptation of ethnic profiling because it doesn’t help the fight against criminality and we need every hand on deck, North, South, Christians Muslims, to fight criminality wherever it is in Nigeria.”

On the demand for electoral reform ahead next general elections, the President of the Senate assured his guests that the National Assembly would ensure the passage of the Electoral amendment bill now being processed by the Assembly.

“I want to assure Nigerians that we have a target and we think it’s a realistic target. It’s doable and we have the determination and capacity to effect the amendment(to Electoral Act) before we go on summer break in June/July and our committee has done so much work.”

He said the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) which is before the National Assembly would be accorded the same attention to be given passage of the amended Electoral Act.

“The PIB is going to be a piece of legislation that in our estimation will change the economic fortune of Nigeria and of course improve the earnings by our businesses who are here and we want to attract many more investments into the oil and gas industry in Nigeria,”

“We are so confident that we will be able to pass this bill by April. We want it signed into law by May and we want every stakeholder to be a winner,” Lawan said.

Earlier, the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing commended President Buhari over the appointment of the new Service Chiefs and urged the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the PIB and Electoral Amendment Bill.

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Farmers, herders clashes threaten food security, Senate President raises the alarm

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