President Buhari approves committee on herdsmen-farmers’ clashes

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that a committee be set up to look into measures to ameliorate the sufferings of people in areas where there have been clashes between herdsmen and farmers in parts of Nigeria.

Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, North East Nigeria, stated this after Thursday’s meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Governor Abubakar said the committee, to he headed by Professor Osinbajo, would visit places where there have been clashes and work out ways of resettling the people.

Sub-committee recommends Agro-Rangers

Governor Abubakar also said that the sub-committee set up by the NEC Working Group to interface with communities where there have been herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria has recommended the setting up and training of Agro Rangers.

He said the rangers would check the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

The recommendation was contained in the interim report of the sub-committee submitted at Thursday’s meeting of the NEC.

He said: “There have been talk of establishment of either ranches, grazing reserves, livestock production centres etc .  The issue is actually a problem of nomenclature.  The most important thing is that some measures should be taken in attempting to resettle the herdsmen so that they would stop moving with their herds from section of the country to another and in the process creating the problems we are having.”

He said state governments would choose which method to establish in their areas.

Whichever one a state government that is keying into the programme chooses, either a grazing reserve, ranch or livestock production centre, there is a need for rangers to be trained; rangers that will police either the ranches or the grazing reserves,” Governor Abubakar said.

Land Use Act

Governor Abubakar said the working group stated in the interim report that under the Land Use Act of 1978, that it is the governor of a state that superintend any land in states in Nigeria.

“Therefore, the federal government of Nigeria is in no position and in fact the federal government will not impose on any state any type of solution, be it ranch, grazing reserve or whatever,” Abubakar said, explaining that the responsibility is that of the governor who is empowered by law to superintend over land.

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