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Friday, 2 February 2018

Benue killings: Presidential aide reveals why Buhari did not speak so much about issue

Benue killings: Presidential aide reveals why Buhari did not speak so much about issue

Herdsmen/farmers crisis: Buhari is constrained by the constitution - Ita Enang

- The senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly matters has said that while the federal government is determined to address the issues of farmers-herdsmen clashes in Benue, it is constrained by the constitution.

- An aide to the president, Sen Ita Enang, has stated that President Muhammadu is constrained by the constitution as regarding the herdsmen/farmers clashes

- Enang also stated that as regarding the incident in Benue state, the president did not speak so much because the federal govt would eventually be judged by what it did, not what it said

- He further disclosed that the federal govt cannot legitimately interfere in the grazing question because the authority to appropriate land lies with the state and local governments

Senator Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly matters, has said that while the federal government is determined to address the issues of farmers-herdsmen clashes in Benue, it is constrained by the constitution, NAN reports.

He stated this on Thursday, February 1, in Abuja at a one-day interaction session organised by the Buhari Media Support Group in coalition with other Buhari and Osinbajo support groups from across the country.

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We gather that Enang, who spoke extensively on the security situation in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau and Zamfara states, maintained that the federal government could not go beyond its constitutional boundaries.

He explained that in the herdsmen-farmers clashes in Benue, which is the most topical, the best the government could do, was to talk less while it thought of ways of addressing the situation on ground.

This, the senator said, was because the government would not be credited for what it said but what it did and the action it took.

He added that because of the Land Use Act, it was impossible for the federal government to grant grazing power as was being canvassed in some quarters.

“The federal government cannot legitimately interfere in the grazing question, except in the security angle because of the constitution and the law.

“There have been several bills before the National Assembly, but none has become law authorising the president to grant land for grazing purposes or authorise or prevent movement of cattle or animals.

“This power is vested in the states, and for grazing purpose it is specifically vested in the local government by the Land Use Act,” he said.

He explained that the Act states that all land in urban areas shall be under the control and management of each state. He said the Act further stated that all other land shall be under the control and management of the local government within the area of jurisdiction of which the land is situated.

Enang, therefore, charged members of the Buhari Support Groups to sensitise the public on the constitutional limitations of the president.

This, he said, was critical to letting the public know that the president could not go beyond his constitutional boundaries.

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Meanwhile, We previously reported that the Presidency explained why President Buhari had not gone to Benue state to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the New Years Day killings.

The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said the president would eventually visit the state and other troubled states. He however, did not state when exactly the President will visit Benue.

Adesina also reacted to claims by some Nigerians that the Presidency had been slow in action towards the herdsmen attacks, noting that the president reacted immediately and had directed top security officials to the state.

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