Nigeria’s immediate past military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, believes the solution to the persistent bloody clash between herdsmen and farmers across the country should not be left to government alone.
The former military leader-turned-farmer said the crisis requires all hands to be on deck, especially well-meaning individuals in the country.
He proffered this solution after hosting Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele at his Maizube Farms on the outskirts of Minna, Niger State capital.
General Abubakar hinged the escalation of clashes on the increased rate of urbanisation and the attendant reduction in availability of grazing land for livestock.
“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,” the General noted.
He, however, called on the government at all levels to provide grazing reserves with adequate water points to reduce the face off, destruction and wanton killing 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,” Gen. Abubakar advised.
The former military leader had earlier told the Minister of Agriculture that clashes between farmers and herdsmen have never been limited to the country saying, “the crisis is not limited to this country, it occurs in virtually all the countries in West Africa”.
The Minister disclosed that his ministry is perfecting the use of cassava leaves which abound in the country as feeds for cows as part of efforts to mitigate the crisis.