‘Don’t blame any ethnic group for kidnapping, banditry’
From Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
The Chief Whip of Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Tunde Olatunji, has said it is parochial to blame a particular ethnic group for the spate of kidnapping and banditry in the country.
Olatunji, representing Ife North Constituency made the assertion during a security summit in Iragbiji, Osun state.
He stressed that blaming an ethnic group would continue to impede the possibility of taming kidnapping and banditry in the country.
The lawmaker, however, said that there was an urgent need to handle the security challenges of the country with open mindedness, especially in connection with herdsmen-farmers relationship.
He stated that this would help in preserving the country’s unity, as well as promote peaceful co-existence and historical economic association among the various ethnic nationalities.
“The challenge is not merely an ethnical, religious or a political onslaught.
“Scientifically, it is also the struggle for survival as occasioned by climate change and environmental hazards like desert encroachment and drying up of lake (Chad).
“We can only solve it when we realise that we need ourselves and know that our peaceful co-existence is not negotiable.
“Findings have shown that 60 per cent of cows in Nigeria are consumed in the Southern part of the country.
“While the Fulani cattle rearers need market for their cows, people down the South of the Sahara also require the cows as the largest accessible source of animal protein.”
The Chief Whip, who noted that the size of grazing zone in the USA was bigger than Nigeria’s land mass, maintained that such challenge was a global phenomenon, but scientifically managed in advanced climes.
Olatunji called for honest and pragmatic measure to resolve the incessant crisis, adding that there might be need for government to have a second look into the 1965 grazing law which stipulated that about 2.3million hectares of land should be earmarked for grazing.
He posited that as long as there was no solution to restoring the Lake Chad dryness, the seven million people displaced in the region due to extinction of natural resources and who are majorly nomads would continue to encroach violently southward of the Sahara region for survival.