By Sesugh Aor
Ladies and gentlemen, happy new year. It’s that time of the year that we all come together to eat and drink and celebrate the birth of our Lord and also rejoice for seeing another year. Christmas and new year comes at the end of the year and that means one start on a clean slate. The festivities also come during the dry season, and dry season in Benue means among other things, the re-entry of the fulani herdsmen into our space. Many people could not see the new year because of the nefarious activities of these terrorists.
At the heat of the issue last year, we were treated to show of ineptitude when that anti grazing bill came up. With all killings going on, and the security operatives looking the other way, that bill was meant to be a rallying point for action on this menace. Unfortunately, the house out of sheer wickedness refused to pass the bill. We kept on receiving funny reasons while the passage is being delayed. Deadlines came and went and nothing happened. Finally the speaker promised that as an end of year gift. We are in a new year and still no bill in place.
It becomes mind boggling when you realize that all bills that have monetary incentive or executive interest has being given accelerated passage, ditto bailout and local government caretaker committees. One begins to wonder if the Fulani have found a way of stopping the bill at the state assembly. At the last outing, Hon. Kester Kyenge was made a scapegoat and subsequently suspended, so why is the bill still not passed?
So much noise was made last year about the peace efforts of the government which led to the herdsmen retreating. Now that they are back, are we to start another round of peace talks. The truth is the rains came and there was grass everywhere, and so they could feed their cows in the North. With the dry season, their annual migration has started, which is why we are witnessing these attacks again. By February or March, the attacks are going to be more except something is done.
It’s disturbing that the only bill that could have made a difference for the Rural dwellers in the state has being politicised with people trying not offend the powers that be. The Ekiti people who have a proacTIVe assembly got theirs long ago while here we are served excuses every day.
In the spirit of the new year, I hope one of Mr. Speaker’s resolution is to stop making fake promises and give us our bill.