Former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has joined the call for the establishment of grazing reserved in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), saying this is the panacea to frequent clashes between nomads and local farmers.
Abubakar also said the fight against Fulani herdsmen clash and farmers should not be left to the state and federal government suggesting that “all hands should be on deck to check the menace.”
The former head of state who spoke at his Maizube Farms, Minna, Niger State, yesterday after hosting the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello; his Kebbi State counterpart, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, blamed the escalation in the clashes on the increasing rate of urbanisation and 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,” he stated.
He therefore called on the governments at all levels to provide grazing reserves with adequate water points to stem the face off, destruction and un-wanton 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 herdsmen. This is very important,” Abubakar advised.
The former military ruler however told his guests that clashes between farmers and herdsmen had never been limited to the country saying: “The crisis in not limited to this country, it occurs in virtually all the countries in West Africa.”
Earlier the Minister of Agriculture, Ogbeh, had disclosed that his ministry was perfecting the use of cassava leaves which are abound in the country as feeds for cows as part of efforts to mitigate the crisis.