The presidency has responded to a recent report by the Bishop of Truro, Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, to the UK parliament, which highlighted the attacks on farming communities by armed herdsmen.
In a statement through its official twitter handle @NGRPresident on Saturday, the presidency said the President Muhammadu Buhari government is doing all it can to resolve the ‘farmers-herders’ crisis.
It mentioned the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which looks to prevent open grazing, as part of efforts towards providing sustainable solution to challenge.
“The Presidency welcomes the recent Bishop of Truro report report to UK Foreign office, specifically the British Government’s new focus on herder-farmer clashes,” Presidency said.
“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 & 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.
“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.””
Christian elders in Nigeria had few days ago, written to the British Parliament, alleging the Buhari government of aiding genocide and Jihad against Christians in the country.