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Former Head Of State Urges Collaborative Efforts To End Herdsmen/Farmers Clashes
Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Nigerian military head of State, has called for joint efforts by the government and other well-meaning Nigerians in order to find lasting solutions to the persistent deadly clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
The former Army General-turned-farmer made this call when he hosted Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu, Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, at his Maizube Farms on the outskirts of Minna, the Niger State capital.
Abubakar said the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes were due to the increase in the rate of urbanization which meant that lands which were hitherto used for grazing and rearing livestocks have been converted to residential or industrial buildings.
He said: “The solution to the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen requires that all hands should be on deck.
“This should not be left to the government alone. We have to join hands with government to resolve the crisis.
“The animals need grazing field and water points but the rapid rate of urbanisation has grossly affected this.”
He suggested that government at all levels should provide grazing reserves for the herdsmen, with adequate water points, so as to reduce the violence, destruction and killings by the warring farmers and herdsmen.
“In providing the grazing reserves for these herdsmen, government should endeavour to build schools for the children of the nomadic herdsmen. This is very important,” Abubakar added.
The former military leader however pointed out that clashes between farmers and herdsmen “is not limited to this country, it occurs in virtually all the countries in West Africa”.
Agric Minister, Ogbeh disclosed that his Ministry is working on how to process Cassava leaves, which abound in the country, into feeds for cattle as part of efforts to mitigate the crisis.