Kebbi state Gov. Abubakar Bagudu has said that the clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country were not tribal but consequences of climate change.
The Governor stated this in Birnin-Kebbi when the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed paid him a courtesy visit with a team of journalists.
Gov. Bagudu who said that the clashes were misunderstood in many quarters challenged the media to carry out investigation to ascertain the truth and veracity of his claims.
He advised the minister to lead newsmen to some prone areas to interview the pastoralists and other concerned parties in order to find out the truth and educate Nigerians.
“It is environmental challenge caused by climate change. The occupational practice of pastoralists and even the fishermen are threatened.
“The water resources and grasses are not available and the pastoralists are forced to move towards the south,” he said.
The Governor called for the understanding of the plights of the pastoralists and the need to gradually introduce the modern trend of ranches to them.
“It is like forcing an Ijaw fisherman to leave the open fishing in the fresh water for a fish pond.
“You will need to give them time to adapt because you are taking away what they are naturally used to,” he said
Bagudu added that the average herders are illiterate and because of the nature of what they do, they are prone to crime.
“In Kebbi, the predominant prisoners in custody are the Fulanis they are prone to crime because of lack of education.”
“On the other hand, they are also victims of cattle rustlers who attack them and take away their animals,” he said.
The governor said that the state is working with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to revive the Argungu fishing festival.
The governor thanked the minister for the initiative of leading the newsmen to Kebbi to showcase the agriculture revolution in the state with partnership with the federal government.
For his part, the the Minister said the visit was necessary to let the world know what the government was doing to transform the agriculture sector was real and yielding fruits.
“We are here to tell Nigerians and the world of the giant strides of Kebbi in the agriculture sector.
“The story of Agriculture revolution in Nigeria will be incomplete without Kebbi.
“The state has turned around the narrative in the agriculture sector to the extent that everyone want to engage in agriculture in the state” he said.
The minister reiterated the federal government commitment to supporting the farmers to boost food production in the country.