By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the National Livestock Transformation Plan will prevent open grazing of cattle and – consequently – the destruction of crops, which has often led to clashes between herdsman and farmers.
President Buhari expressed hope that “enclosed ranching” is a core component of the programme.
Buhari made the declaration on Thursday while commending the recent report to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office – specifically the British Government’s new focus on herder-farmer clashes, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu.
“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.”
He also stated that the final remnants of the Boko Haram terrorist group causing havoc in the north eastern part of the country would be exterminated before the end of his second term.
The president who noted that the insurgents still pose a threat in the region said that in those fringe areas and spaces where they still pose a threat, they are being chased, their bases smashed.
Buhari noted that 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, Buhari said.
He assured that, “In this second term, we shall focus on extinguishing the final remnants of the group;” adding that engagement with various stakeholders is key to breeding the dialogue and most importantly trust to resolve this age-old conflict.
On the issue of herders/farmers clashes, the President said that as the report sets out, there were many causes to this conflict, from competition over land to climate change.