A member of the House of Representatives, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, yesterday accused “most northern governors” of sponsoring terrorism in their respective states.
The lawmaker, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, warned that if not checked, the grazer-farmer clashes could transmute into another version of Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Tsokwa (PDP), representing Donga/SSA/Takum/ Special Area federal constituency of Taraba State, made the disclosure to newsmen at a briefing held at the National Assembly.
He said: “What we call farmer/grazer conflict is a kind of insurgency against the farmer. A grazer is a farmer, a young cultivator is a farmer. Just as I cannot walk up to your land and begin to make heaps because your land is good and I want to plant rice there.
“A grazer too has no right to walk into my land no matter how conducive for grazing and begin to graze there. If he has no land, I have land. I have no animal. Come, buy my land, give me money and graze there.
“Today, these people (farmers) are helpless, a time will come when they will not be that helpless. That was how Boko Haram started. My advice is that the earlier we do something about it, the better for us.
“Nigeria has enough problems on its hands. Let us not cause additional problems. Let’s handle the ones we have. We should be seen to be moving ahead rather than adding more and more problems for the country.
“Most of the problems we have are created by our leaders. And that was why on one occasion, I said I am of the opinion that most northern governors support terrorism.
“You stay in your house, somebody comes to your land and begins to cause problems and destroy your crops. You complain and he brings out a gun, sacks you from that place and they call it conflict. What conflict is that? It is an act of terrorism.”
Reacting to the PDP Governors’ Forum’s call for the sack of the defecting lawmakers, Tsokwa said aggrieved persons should approach the courts for a (writ of) mandamus if they felt the law was not being adhered to in the case of the 37 defecting lawmakers.
“Let me begin by saying the court is not Father Christmas, a court has no jurisdiction, a court has no right, a court has no power to give what is not asked for.
“Now as to next course of action, the constitution is very clear, that power (to declare seat of any member vacant) is vested to the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives. No any other person in Nigeria has that power not even the court, if I am aggrieved that the Senate President has not done what he should have done or the Speaker has not done what he should have done, the only way we can involve a court is go to the court and ask for an order of mandamus to compel him to do what the law requires him to do,” he said. – National Mirror.