President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday expressed a strong resolve to address the conflicts of herders and farmers for a permanent solution. He ordered that the associated problem of the gun-wielding “killer herdsmen” be tackled.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, in a statement reiterated the President’s approved measures to bring an end to the issues as recommended by Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture, in April.
The presidency insisted that Buhari’s action was before the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors Forum.
The statement noted it is very clear that there was no solution offered from the governors’ resolutions to the herder-farmer clashes “that have been continuing in our country for generations”.
“It is equally true that their announcement is of questionable legality, given the Constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT) – regardless of the state of their birth or residence, he said
Shehu said the governors’ declaration has been preempted, “for whatever it is intended to achieve”.
He noted that the President has rightly been worried about these problems more than any other citizen in consultation with farmers and herders alike.
Shehu said Buhari commissioned and approved an actionable plan of rehabilitating grazing reserves in the states, starting with those that are truly committed to the solution and compliant with stated requirements.
The aide added that the government is making far-reaching and practical changes allowing for different communities to co-exist side-by-side: supporting farmers to till their fields, herders to rear their livestock and Nigerians everywhere to be safe.