Senate urges FG to rehabilitate displaced Omala communities in Kogi East

The Nigerian Senate has passed a resolution to rehabilitate displaced communities in Omala Local Government Council, Kogi East Senatorial District. This decision follows a motion by Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho, who represents the district, highlighting the urgent need to aid the communities of Agojeju-Odo, Ajokpachi-Odo, Bagaji, and Bagana, which have been devastated by attacks from Fulani herders.

Senator Isah, invoking Orders 41 and 51, described how Omala, with its headquarters in Abejukolo-Ife, covers an area of about 1,667 km² and has a population of approximately 176,000, has faced repeated herders’ attacks resulting in deaths and extensive property damage. He emphasized that around 30,000 displaced residents are currently homeless, having abandoned their farmlands and relocated to other communities.

The motion pointed out that the most recent attack on April 5, 2024, resulted in the loss of 21 lives, including women and children, and significant destruction of farm produce. Senator Adams Oshiomhole of Edo North called for decisive government action to end the violence, suggesting a stakeholder conference for a comprehensive discussion on resolving herders’ attacks.

Senator Titus Zam Tartenger of Benue North West argued for the introduction of a law against open grazing to permanently resolve the crisis. He stressed that legal measures are crucial to regulating behavior and preventing herders from moving animals across regions and causing violence.

Tartenger concluded by advocating for a law prohibiting open grazing, noting that the absence of such a law allows unchecked movement of armed herders, which exacerbates the violence in farming communities.