The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, says farmer – herder conflicts require a real-time, practically-oriented solution.
Malami said this on Saturday at the AB Dikko memorial symposium holding in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi. In a statement by Dr Umar Gwandu, SA Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General issued in Abuja, Malami called for stakeholders’ engagement to resolve the protracted farmer – herder conflict in the country. “The better approach towards resolving the crisis over the short, medium and long terms is to directly involve the stakeholders at the conception, implementation and monitoring phases”. He said that community-oriented approach is likely to yield greater dividend in diffusing and eventually eliminating the menace that has retarded economic development and created wide-spread insecurity.
The Minister noted that addressing farmer-herder crisis from purely theoretical perspectives often devorced from reality. “Without synchronisation with the needs and aspirations of the involved stakeholders it is not only counter-productive, but inimical to the emergence and sustenance of a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria”, the Minister said. He therefore advocated the setting-up of regulated grazing reserves to replace the “Burtali” or “Hurumi” pastoral system.
He said that intensive enlightenment of livestock breeders on the need for sedentary farming and transhumance agriculture as complimentary economic process to nomadic farming is neccessary He said provision of water holes in remote grazing locations, subsidized veterinary care and mobile ambulatory services for surgeries and other medical interventions for livestock would be of great help. He also emphasised the need for providing social amenities, educational facilities and cattle markets at central locations to accelerate nomadic settlements.
Malami said educating communities on the need for peaceful co-existence and community engagement fora for bridge-building in community relations, are of utmost importance. According to the Minister, revamping the activities of the Nomadic Education Commission with a view to complimenting the efforts of government is essential in resolving the farmer-herder clashes. (NAN)