House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs yesterday summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, to appear before it today over the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Agatu and various parts of the country.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the committee had earlier sent out a formal invitation to the IGP, Interior Minister, Tiv Association, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Farmers Association, Benue Dialogue for Peace and Development and other stakeholders to attend the crucial public hearing.
But some of the critical stakeholders such as the Miyetti Allah, IGP and Minister of Interior were conspicuously absent at the public hearing.
The development forced chairman of the committee, Hon Haliru Jika, to call for an executive session.
About 20 minutes after, Jika said they had resolved to summon the police boss and the minister to appear before the committee today in view of the importance attached to the matter.
The committee chairman had allowed the president-general of the Tiv Association, Engr Edward Ujege, to go on with his presentation, but was interrupted midway by a member of the committee, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha.
Onyejeocha told her colleagues that she was not comfortable that in such a crucial hearing, the IG and Minister of Interior were not present.
She insisted that they must be present so that it would not amount to a reported speech.
Speaking in the same vein, Hon Gabriel Onyewife wondered why the Police IG and minister could not attend the hearing that had to do with human lives.
In his presentation, Engr Ujege said in 2015 and 2016, over 101 persons had been killed and more than 6650 others displaced.
He said property worth over N8 billion had also been destroyed in the clashes.
Ujege further recommended that ranching of cattle was the best option and called on the federal and state governments to provide appropriate legislations to that effect.
In his address of welcome, the speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara called on all the stakeholders to make presentation that would help the committee.
The speaker, who was represented by the chief whip of the House, Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said the public hearing was not a witch-hunt exercise, but towards finding lasting solution to the herdsmen/farmers clashes in parts of the country.
The public hearing continues today by 10am at the National Assembly complex.