From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Worried by the increasing level of insecurity in the country, the Benue State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the policy of visa on arrival to enable Nigerian security agencies to check the influx of militia herdsmen and other security risks.
State Chairman of the Association Rev Akpen Leva made the call at a press briefing on Thursday, saying the President must act fast to save the country from second civil war and disintegration.
While noting that Nigerians are finding it difficult to understand the rationale behind the President’s policy on open visa or visa on arrival, Leva said a deeper look at the policy and its effects on Nigeria and Nigerians is the influx of a large number of herdsmen into the country.
‘It is my belief that the president is also aware of what the open visa has caused us as a nation. This is why we urge Mr President to act fast. The earlier he acts, the better the security situation of the country.
‘As patriotic citizens of our beloved country, Nigeria, we strongly believe in the fact that unity is strength but we are getting increasingly worried that our unity is being eroded by the inaction of the president and anti people’s policies.’
Leva lamented what he described as the continued attacks on Nigerian communities by Fulani herdsmen saying that calls for urgent attention by the federal government.
‘President Buhari should act fast to save the country. It was part of the reasons to ensure a harmonious relationship that necessitated some states of the federation to ban open grazing which has always been the reason for the herdsmen to attack the Nigerian farmers.
‘Those states that banned open grazing provided ranching, which is the global best practice in animal husbandry, as a solution. For the country to move away from this problem, such states came up with legislations.
He called on the federal government to act fast by enforcing the open grazing law and for the National Assembly to legislate the implementation of the law.
‘This will compel all those involved in animal husbandry to ranch their cattle. Ranching as observed is the only solution to the incessant crisis involving farmers and herdsmen in the country,’ the CAN Chairman said.