Identifying Grazing Routes Key To Ending Herder-Farmer Crisis – Gov Bagudu

 

Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu on Thursday argued that mapping out grazing routes will help to identify the scale of the herder-farmer crisis.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently ordered a committee to review 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country to determine the levels of encroachment.

Critics have faulted the President’s directive, noting that ranching is a more viable alternative to open grazing.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Govt Bans Transportation Of Livestock

But, speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Mr Bagudu said the President’s directive does not preclude the idea of ranching.

“The committee is to identify grazing routes and work with states and map them. It is not to recover grazing routes, it is to identify the scale of the problem,” Mr Bagudu said.

“Mr President is interested in an audit of grazing reserves. It is a voluntary and collaborative thing with the states.

“People say we have spoken about ranching. Yes, but what is a ranch? Ranching does not take place in the air, it takes place on a piece of land.

“Ranches are as big as grazing reserves. In some countries like Australia, some ranches are bigger than some Nigerian states.

“So how do you know what’s available, what can be supported to host those roving, herding communities who need help to modernise?”

Shared public interest

When asked why the President appeared to have taken a special interest in helping herders modernise since it is a private business, Mr Bagudu said the issue is a “shared public interest.”

“We have interest historically to make our farmers do better,” he said. “That’s why we have all kinds of programs and extension services, so our farmers can do better. And it is a desirable public goal.

Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on September 2, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

“So, historically, we have invested more in the farming sector, to the disadvantage of both fishing and animal husbandry.

“We want to help them (herders) modernise so Nigeria can benefit and generate more value from this important sector.

“If we can support those in the banking sector with five trillion to save the banks from collapsing, I don’t think we are doing any disservice to support our farmers, support millions in the animal husbandry sector and support our fishing communities as well.”

Two Farmers Killed During Clash With Herders In Ekiti

A map of Ekiti, a state in South-West Nigeria.

 

Two farmers have been killed in Ekiti State after a clash involving some herders in Isaba, Ikole Local Government Area.

The police spokesman in the State, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident, said the clash was preceded by a disagreement between both parties.

Mr. Abutu said police operatives have been deployed to the area to maintain peace while investigation has commenced to unravel the reason behind the unrest.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Kaduna Airport Staff Quarters, Abduct 12

Clashes between farmers and herdsmen are common across Nigeria, mostly over land rights issues and open and night grazing.

Most State Governors have agreed to the establishment of ranches as a solution to open grazing but funding for the required infrastructure and re-training remains a challenge.

 

Wednesday Update: A Peace Tour, New EFCC Boss And Rising Inflation

Good morning.

We are covering a peace tour by Northern Governors, the appointment of a new EFCC boss, and the underlying factors driving inflation in Nigeria.


Four Northern Governors met with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on February 15, 2021.

Northern Governors Continue Southwest Tour

The four Northern Governors – Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Abubakar Bello (Niger) – who were in Oyo State on Monday attended a farmer-herders stakeholder meeting in Ogun State on Tuesday.

The Governors are seeking ways to douse tensions between the country’s South and North.

“We have to take some drastic measures,” Governor Ganduje said at the meeting, which was also attended by Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun. “Otherwise we are just scratching the problem on the back.”

Traditional and religious rulers from Ogun and Ondo States, representatives of farmers and herders, as well as heads of security operatives in Ogun State attended the meeting.

Context: Tensions have escalated between farmers and cattle herders in the South recently. Many Southerners believe herders, mostly from the North, have taken control of forests, farmlands and are involved in violent crimes such as kidnapping and rape. But the herders say they are also victims of an increasingly volatile security environment.

Simon Lalong: The Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, after a security meeting in Kaduna, said the North is seeking “matured ways” to resolve the issue.

Femi Gbajabiamila: The House of Representatives Speaker has asked people with large followership to be more circumspect about the information they share and the language used in sharing it.

Related: The Senate is seeking to pass legislation that will impose stiffer punishments for the illegal possession of firearms in the country.


A file photo of the new EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The EFCC Gets a New General

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday publicly nominated 40-Year-Old Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The nomination appeared to put a nail to the hopes of ex-EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu of being recalled. Mr. Magu was suspended in July 2020 over allegations of gross misconduct.

His lawyer, Tosin Ajaomo, told Channels Television that Mr. Bawa’s appointment came as a shock.

What Next: Mr. Bawa, who joined the EFCC in 2004, is expected to scale through a Senate confirmation, a feat Mr. Magu couldn’t achieve. Meanwhile, Mr. Magu’s fate remains uncertain.

Clarification: The EFCC, in a statement on Tuesday, said Mr. Bawa has no corruption record.


A file photo of a resident at a market in Akure, Ondo State. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun
A file photo of a resident at a market in Akure, Ondo State. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun

Inflation Goes Through The Roof

The National Bureau of Statistics said the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, stood at 16.47% in January, from 15.75% in December.

The January figure is the highest since April 2017.

But Bolanle Agbaje, a research analyst at Financial Derivatives Company is positive the figure could start to decline in the coming months.

“Month-on-month inflation has declined, which is good news in the sense that inflation is moving to a point where it would reach a particular peak and most likely start coming down,” she said.

Meanwhile, food inflation crossed the 20% mark and stood at 20.57% in January from 19.56% in December.

According to Ms. Agbaje, the farmer-herders conflict was a likely contributor to the rising prices of food.

Core Inflation stood at 11.85% in January, from 11.37% in December.

Bitcoin: The cryptocurrency hit new highs on Tuesday as institutional investors catch the FOMO fever.


What else is happening?

Foreign Affairs: President Muhammadu Buhari has inducted 94 new ambassadors and charged them to go out and serve Nigeria with utmost dedication and pride.

Zamfara Explosion: Seven teenagers were feared dead after they picked up an explosive device during their search for firewood in the bush, the State Government said on Tuesday.

PDP: Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said Goodluck Jonathan will not defect from the party. Saraki, along with other members of the PDP Reconciliation Committee, met with the former President at his Maitama residence in Abuja on Tuesday.

Lekki Toll Gate: Some rehabilitation work has begun at the site, days after a protest against its reopening was quashed by the Nigerian police.

IGP: A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to grant an interim injunction that would restrain Mr. Mohammed Adamu from parading himself as the Inspector-General of Police.

The court said that such an injunction can only be considered after the suit challenging the elongation of the IGP’s tenure by President Muhammadu Buhari has been settled.

NIN: The Federal Government has already shifted the deadline for registration twice. But it might have to do so again as Nigerians continue to contend with the limitations of the exercise.

NCDC: Nigeria recorded 1,368 new cases of the coronavirus and 16 deaths on Tuesday, according to the disease control agency.


And that’s it for this briefing. Join me tomorrow.

P.S. Remember Obinwanne Okeke? He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a US court for wire fraud,

 

Mali’s PM Promises To Tackle Terrorism, Farmer-Herder Clashes

In this handout picture received from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MUNISMA), Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga (C) shakes hands with officials during a visit of the Malian delegation in Kidal, northern Mali, on March 23, 2018. PHOTO: Harandane DICKO / MINUSMA / AFP

 

Mali’s prime minister promised the creation of specialist anti-terrorism prosecutors on Monday on a visit to the country’s restive centre, along with a disarmament campaign for militias operating in the area.

Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga is on a tour of Mali’s most dangerous regions after being appointed in December to bolster security ahead of a presidential election in July.

“We will soon set up a special judicial section to investigate and judge terrorist crimes,” Maiga said in Bandiagara, a former tourist destination abandoned by foreign visitors after the rise of a jihadist insurgency.

Mali’s unrest stems from a 2012 Tuareg separatist uprising against the state, which was exploited by jihadists in order to take over key cities in the north.

Although French forces removed the Al-Qaeda-linked groups from places such as Timbuktu, the groups have morphed into more nimble formations operating in rural areas, sometimes winning over local populations by providing basic services and protection from bandits.

That insurgency has also spread to the country’s centre, where local grievances are exploited by the Islamists in a region awash with guns trafficked from Libya.

On Sunday, Maiga tackled another deadly issue facing Mali: clashes between farmers and herders driven south to feed their animals in recent years.

Simmering clashes between the Fulani herders and the agrarian Dogon community have claimed at least 25 lives since the beginning of the month.

At a reconciliation meeting in the town of Koro, the prime minister promised to disarm, “willingly or not”, militias which have carried out ethnic attacks.

The tour is also aimed at boosting confidence in the government, which few believe can keep such areas secure enough to hold a democratic vote.

“One of the essential challenges that we must overcome together this year is without a doubt the organisation of free, credible, transparent and peaceful elections,” Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on Sunday.

“It is up to us to create the best conditions for the organisation of these elections across the country with the participation of all Malians,” he added, insisting they would be held within the planned timeframe.

AFP