The Presidency has revealed the reason the Federal Government cannot address the issues of farmers/herdsmen clashes in Benue in spite of its determination to do so. According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, the government was constrained by the limitations of the constitution.
He stated this on Thursday in Abuja at a one-day interactive session organised by the Buhari Media Support Group in coalition with other Buhari and Osinbajo support groups 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, which was 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, he 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 was 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.