Senator Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, has said that while the Federal Government is determined to address the issues of farmers and herdsmen clashes in Benue State, it is constrained by the constitution.
Enang stated this on Thursday 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.
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 State, 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 the because of the Land Use Act, it was impossible for the Federal Government to grant grazing power as was being canvassed in some quarters.
Enang said: “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.”
Enang 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 let the public know that the President could not go beyond his constitutional boundaries.
Bayo Onanuga, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, who was one of the special guests at the event, noted that lack of effective communication in government was a problem in the country.
Onanuga said there was, therefore, the need for stakeholders to sensitise the public on government’s activities and why the President could not do certain things.
He said: “Though the President is very powerful, he has some constitutional limitations which he cannot go beyond.”
According to Onanuga, the Buhari-led government has achieved a lot that should be brought to the public through effective sensitisation.
He, however, advised that the government should cultivate the old and new media to propagate its achievements, adding that it should also be prepared to spend money on that.
Austin Braimoh, the Chairman of Buhari Media Support Group, had earlier said the event was to rub minds on the Buhari administration, its achievements and for its members to give an opinion on it.
Braimoh said: “We are here to rub minds and to collectively look at what President Buhari has done in the last two years and to agree if he should be re-elected based on his achievements.”
He added that while the Buhari administration had been faced with great challenges, it had achieved a lot, saying that the administration was well focused to re-position the country.
He noted the through consistent funding, the administration had been able to address the agitations in the Niger Delta region and had been able to curb the menace of cattle rustling in parts of the country.
He said the administration had also ensured the stability of the country’s economy among other things.
Malam Hamza Ibrahim, the National Co-ordinator of Buhari Vendor, said the Buhari-led administration had done very well in ensuring peace and security in the country and deserved a second term in 2019 to ensure consolidation.
Ibrahim pledged his continued loyalty to the administration, saying all hands should be on deck to ensure that it was returned to power in 2019.
Dr. Kailani Muhammad, also a special guest at the event, described members of the newly formed Coalition for Nigeria “as old wine in new bottle”.
Muhammad added that the coalition would not make any head way, stressing the Nigerians should not allow themselves to be used.
He said: “We have come of age and we must not allow ourselves to be taken for granted.
“We must come together to take our destiny in our hands.”
Members of the Buhari Support Group at the event unanimously agreed the President Buhari should be allowed to go for second term in 2019.
Get more stories like this on Twitter & Facebook