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Herders/Farmers Crisis: Stop illegal herders from crossing Nigerian border, Fayemi tells immigration
THE Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Thursday advised the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure herders from neighbouring countries have the right travel documents, else they should be denied entry into the country.
The former Minister of Mines and Steel Development also said foreigners ‘must’ respect State laws against open-grazing where applicable stressing that trans-human crossing is inevitable.
Fayemi disclosed this while delivering a paper titled “Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Nigeria: Implications for National Security” at the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) Executive Management Course, held in Abuja.
Human movement across our national borders is an inevitable occurrence and has been in place even prior to the adoption of the 1978 ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods. Despite this, immigration authorities need to ensure that only persons with valid travel documents can cross borders with livestock,” says Fayemi.
“Where state legislations are in place to regulate grazing, those from outside Nigeria must respect the laws, and must conduct themselves in accordance with the relevant legislation.”
Nigeria is reported to have over 1, 400 porous borders considered to pose a security threat to the country, except for the 140 legal entry points.
As a result, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo approved N52 billion for the construction of electronic border points. The contract is expected to cover 86 border posts and the 1400 illegal routes.
The spate of insecurity in the nation has also been partially attributed to the problem of porous borders.
Meanwhile, Fayemi claimed that the nation loses $14 billion annually to the herders farmers clash, thus need for proper legislation from the Federal Government and the state to check the menace and loss of lives.
The governor who insisted that such laws would foster peace and unity said it would as well develop the nation’s socio-economic potentials.
“As political and policymakers, we must be humble enough to admit that the messaging around the farmer-herder crisis, in terms of being mindful of sensitivities and the use of polarizing terminologies and concepts leaves room for improvement.
“From the evolution of the discourse on major issues such as the Anti-grazing laws which have been passed into law in Ekiti, Benue and Taraba States, to colonies, the Ruga settlement phenomenon, the ranching options, we have not done enough to properly manage the various narratives or interpretations that emerged from this problem.
Had government at all levels accorded due priority to the right messaging and perceptions in these sensitive issues, the often useful ideas proposed to resolve the problems would not give been subjected to blatant misinterpretation and politicization,” he stated in a report by The Nation.