Defence Minister Receives Report on Farmers-Herders Crisis
It should be recalled that on 11 of September 2018 I inaugurated Farmers-Herders Crisis committee to among other things unravel the reason behind the constant clash between pastoralists and farmers in Nigeria.
I am happy after 6 month of extensive work the committee has submitted its report. I am not unaware of some of the challenges and difficulties you experienced in some of the areas you visited.
Conﬂict between farmers and herders has been a common feature due to economic livelihood for control of resources in a given area and political reasons.
Farmer-herder differences are not only seen as resources conﬂict but sometimes represented as ethnic conﬂict involving the two groups.
Since Farmers/Herders groups have very different values, customs, physical and cultural characteristics, disputes between them are frequently characterized with violent conﬂicts resulting to loss of precious lives and properties.
As you are aware the violent conflicts between nomadic herders and agrarian communities in Nigeria have escalated in recent years and are threatening our nation’ security and political stability.
These clashes are becoming potentially dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east and the Lake Chad region.
Those conflicts were historical conflicts though recently they assumed more dangerous dimensions. Previous response to address the crisis at the Federal, States and Local Governments levels has been poor.
The present administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari’s has taken immediate steps to address the problem.
Efforts were made by the government to reform livestock management practices, address negative environmental trends and curb cross-border movements of both cattle rustlers and armed herders.
It is also important to mention here that technological and economic changes are key to addressing some of the Farmers/Herders violent conflicts.
Our Judicial system should also be strengthening to handle those cases from both farmers and Herders who take law into their own hands.
Finally I want to thank the Chairman and members of the committee for a job well done. I also want to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government will study the report with a view of adopting its recommendations that will bring a lasting solution to the historical farmers/ herders conflict in Nigeria.
Minister of Defence