Barrister Monday Ubani, former Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to change his perception regarding persistent clashes and killings occurring between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in various parts of the country.
Speaking exclusively to SaharaTV, Barrister Ubani maintained that the Fulani herdsmen should be seen as a terrorist group as this would aid the government in strengthening the laws to curb the spread of the killings and reprisal attacks. He further stated that lasting solution cannot be found if President Buhari continues to see the clashes as mere communal clashes.
He said, “The issue of herdsmen has not been addressed, what is also more worrisome is that the President is seeing the issue of herdsmen killings as "communal clashes." The moment you have such a perspective of what is going on, it will not actually bring out the best in the government to address it clearly.”
“I think the best the government can do is to give it a correct meaning, these acts are purely terrorist acts and they should be so branded. That will make you energize the law and security agencies to go after the murderers to get them arrested and prosecuted. Ubani, who is currently the 2nd Vice-President of NBA asserted.
Mr. Ubani reiterated that cattle rearing is a private business and herdsmen have no right to move into other farmlands without permission. He tagged this regular act by herdsmen as illogical, illegal and unconstitutional.
Barrister Ubani, suggesting possible means of halting these killings by herdsmen, advised the Federal Government to invest in ranching which would make herdsmen stationary.
Moreover, he encouraged governor of states to enact laws directed towards protecting lives and properties of residents of the state. He, however, urged states not to take laws into their hands but hand over any erring herdsmen to Nigerian police for prosecution according to the law.
Barrister Ubani said, “Each state should be more creative and proactive by enacting laws that will help the state to secure lives and properties within the state. I would recommend each state create state policing like a vigilante group and each state should enact the Anti-Open Grazing Law.”
“You must enact law but not take laws into your hands, do not kill but hand them over to the Nigeria Police and follow it up to the prosecution stage.” He added.
Similarly, Mr. Ubani posited that any state governor that throws up his hands claiming it cannot guarantee the safety of his people should resign from office. He said that governors can do many things to curb these excessive killings by herdsmen and any governor that is not acting has no reason to remain in office.