Senate seeks end to lingering herdsmen attacks

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has urged the security agencies to halt, apprehend and bring to justice all the criminal elements posing as herdsmen,who are destroying lives and properties across the country.

It has also called on the Federal government through the Ministry of health to take up immediately the health need of Ehimen Donald Abuya with a view to securing adequate and proper treatment for him.

Mr. Donald Abuya is the latest victim of the herdsmen attack in some communities located in Edo state southern Nigeria.

Senate’s decisions were part of a four point resolution reached at Wednesday’s plenary on a motion titled: ‘the need to curtail the activities of the Fulani Herdsmen’, and sponsored by Senator Clifford Ordia representing Edo Central Senatorial district.

In the other resolution, the Senate also urged the National Emergency Management Agency, to as a matter of urgency visit Ewu communities to ascertain the extent of damage with a view to providing relief materials to families of the bereaved and other persons presently displaced and denied access to their farmlands.

The lawmakers further condemned the criminal activities of some elements among cattle herdsmen who use the cover of their trade to perpetrate harrowing destruction of people’s farms as well as engage in other sundry criminal activities across the country.

Thereafter, they observed a minute silence for those who lost their lives in these herdsmen attacks in Edo Central Senatorial District and all other previous attacks across Nigeria.

Speaking with Journalists after the plenary, Senator Ordia decried “the heinous and criminal activities being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen who in the violent act of ravaging communities, depriving persons of right to life and prosperity, raping, defiling women and destroying farms crops amongst other criminal activities across the country.”

“Since this destructive attack, it has been observed that no farmer in the communities have engaged in farming activities for fear of being killed,” he lamented.

CUSTOMS ACT 2017

In another development, the Senate also on Wednesday passed the Bill seeking to repeal and re-enact the Nigerian Customs Service Management Act.

This was sequel to the final consideration of the report of its committee on customs and excise, which consideration was adjourned last Wednesday May 24, 2017.

Chairman of the committee Senator Hope Uzodinma, assured Nigerians that the new Customs Management Act would not increase the cost of doing business in the country rather, it will help to reduce burdens on importers of goods.

The re-enactment of the Customs Act according to him became necessary “because of the need to boost government’s revenue, and to ensure justice and fairness in the treatment of all importers.”

The highpoint of the new Act is that it provides for a commission to be headed by a Chairman who will be appointed by the President and subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

The commission replaces the former Customs Board that was contained in the old Act. If the Act is eventually signed into law by the President, the commission would also be responsible for the Training, posting, and discipline of senior officers of the Nigerian Customs Service.

In his remarks, President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki expressed his delight at the passage of the Customs Excise and Management Act, 2017, noting that it will facilitate the modernization of the Nigerian Customs Service.

Applauding his colleagues for their commitment to the success they have achieved, Senator Saraki said it will ensure that Nigeria complies with international commitment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Omolayo.A