President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to a recent report to the British Foreign and Commonwealth office by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Moustephen on ways to solve the lingering clashes between Fulani herders and farmers.
A statement on Thursday, through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that Buhari “welcomes the recent report to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office – specifically the British Government’s new focus on herder-farmer clashes.”
It added that “Engagement with various stakeholders is key to breeding the dialogue and – most importantly – trust to resolve this age-old conflict.
“As the report sets out, there are many causes to this conflict, from competition over land to climate change. The National Livestock Transformation Plan sets out to deal with these by preventing open grazing of cattle and – consequently – the destruction of crops.
“Enclosed ranching is a core component of the programme. For farmers, this guarantees their yield and livelihoods. For herders, all livestock produce more meat and milk in a ranch rather than being always on the move.
“These plans do not come at one or another’s expense. Instead, they shall make both farmers and herders richer. We must learn to live together because there isn’t another way. Our diversity should never be a cause for conflict, but a source of strength from which the nation can draw.
“The report also highlighted the threat from Boko Haram in their mission to establish an ‘Islamic state’ in place of the secular state. Where the group once administered territory, they now hold on to none.
“In those fringe areas and spaces where they still pose a threat, they are being chased, their bases smashed. In this second term, we shall focus on extinguishing the final remnants of the group.”
The statement added, “As President Buhari reasserted at Easter: ‘[I will] do all it takes to… confront these security challenges [and] not allow merchants of death and evil to overwhelm the nation.’”