The Senate, on Wednesday, 4 December, 2019, condemned the incessant spate of killings as a result of militancy, cult activities, boundary disputes and kidnappings in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The Upper Legislative Chamber urged the Inspector-General of Police to ensure better security of lives and properties in the area.
These formed part of resolutions reached by the Senate sequel to the consideration of a motion sponsored by Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River Central).
Onor, in his motion, lamented that “Boki Local Government Area has been plagued by incessant cult activities, land and boundary disputes and most recently, kidnapping, which have claimed a good number of lives and destroyed properties.”
According to the lawmaker, “On October 22, 2019, in Okundi Community, four young men were killed in what appeared to be a clash between these cultists and the community.”
“There is still crises related to the way and manner the Boki oil palm estates are presently managed.
“More recently, on November 23, 2019, three non-indigenes who reside in Boje community were kidnapped,” the lawmaker said.
Onor said the kidnap of the farmers caused suspicion between Boje and two neighbouring communities, Nsadop and Isobendeghe.
“This heightened tension led to full blown inter-community war and the resultant loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties,” Onor said.
The Senate, in a bid to avert more killings, urged the Cross Rover State Government to take over the Boki oil palm estates and delineate the inter-community boundaries accordingly.
The upper chamber also held a minute silence in honour of all those killed from boundary disputes and cult activities in Boki local Government.
Meanwhile, the Senate has urged the Federal government to fully implement the provisions of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, especially the composition of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
While urging the Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency to undertake awareness campaign against all forms of discrimination, the Senate called on the Ministry of Works to be aware of their obligations to Persons with Disabilities.
The Chamber, accordingly, urged the Works and Housing Ministry and other MDAs involved in infrastructure and public buildings to adopt codes and standards that are user friendly to Persons with Disabilities.
These were resolutions reached by the Senate after consideration of a motion to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP, Plateau North), said the observance of the Day seeks “to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration and mainstreaming of disabilities in every aspect of human endeavour including political, social, economic, and cultural life of nations”.
According to the lawmaker, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (PWD) which took effect from May 3, 2008, affirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
He stated that though Nigeria ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities in 2007 and its optional Protocol in 2010, it was only in January 23, 2019, that President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.
Senator Gyang added that while the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, it impossible fines, sanctions and prison sentences on those who contravene it.
Gyang stated that the law stipulates a five-year transitional period for the modification of public buildings and automobiles to make them user friendly for people with disabilities.
It also provides for the establishment of a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities that will be responsible for ensuring that Disabled person have access to housing, education and healthcare.