The Federal Government will definitely proffer lasting solutions to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in affected states across the country.
National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, New Partnership for African’s Development, Gloria Akobundu, said this at the presentation of the report on the frequent conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and Nasarawa on Thursday in Abuja.
According to her, NEPAD will recommend solutions and also support the government in ensuring peace in the affected states through empirical data.
She said that NEPAD would involve all stakeholders such as Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture and Environment among others to assist in ending the farmers/herders clashes.
Akobundu said that some factors responsible for the conflicts were demographic changes, climate changes, inadequate grazing and cattle rustling which had consequently affected the socio-economic lives of the people involved the clashes.
She explained that all of those factors have accounted for the disruption of the normal lives of both groups in areas such as education, health and security.
She further said relevant agencies were addressing the conflicts through dialogue and interactive sessions with the parties affected by crises under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said that all recommendations generated from the interactive sessions would be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration and implementation.
Abdulkarim Ibrahim, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NEPAD, said that the issue of cattle grazing and livestock production had posed serious problems to the country.
He said that the government was not relenting in its efforts at bringing sanity “to our land, safeguard the nation and protect lives and property”.
Ibrahim said: “Dialogue sessions are fundamental to the holistic solutions which will deal with the problems of encroachment into farmlands, incitement and credible plans to integrate the herdsmen fully into the Nigeria society.
“The focus should be on modernisation of cattle rearing which will maximize the benefits thereon in terms of job creation, food security and eventually end the vexatious farmers/herdsmen conflicts.”
The Representative of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Musa Muhammad, expressed the readiness of the group to embrace peace, adding that both the farmers and the cattle breeders have a symbiotic relationship and depend on each other for continued survival.
Muhammad said: “If the government introduce anti-grazing law, they should provide every necessary things such as field, dam equipment and others for easy operation.
“The government is not doing enough, enough grazing land should be provided and equal treatment should be given to both parties.
“Some of us have up to 2,000 cattle, all this should be put into consideration when providing the ranch.”
He gave the assurance that the cattle breeders were willing and prepared to live with the farmers side by side in the spirit of peaceful co-existence.
On her part, Emmanuel Kaha, the representative of the farmers, called on the Federal Government to provide ranches for cattle breeders for rearing their animals.
He gave the assurance that farmers are willing and prepared to live in peace with the herders.