Sunday, October 17, 2021

Farmer/herder crises: Okechukwu backs Malami’s proposal for pastoral commission

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The Director General of Voice of Nigeria, VON, Osita Okechukwu, has endorsed the proposal by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami for the establishment of a pastoral commission to curb farmer/herder crisis in the country.

Speaking with newsmen on Sunday, Mr Okechukwu commended the minister for initiating the idea, saying that farmer/herder crises have “polarized the country more than any other issue since the end of the civil war in 1970”.

According to Mr Okechukwu, the crises must be contained as a matter of national security to avert a “possible national suicide”.

He said: “I think it is a pragmatic community oriented solution, aimed at diffusing, cushioning and stopping the intractable menace of farmers -herder’s crisis in our dear country.

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“It is a national security question because it has polarized and divided the country more than any other issue since after the civil war.”

The All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain, also claimed that the move to fund herders has profiled President Muhammadu Buhari negatively, saying that the menace according to him “overshadows the milestones achieved by the Presidents’ infrastructural projects.”

He added: “For those who pose this question failed to note that the herders had dangerously disrupted crop farmers and on the other hand farmers rustled cattle, before we count uncountable lives lost and our dear countrymen polarized and unnecessarily drawn at daggers drawn.

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“My submission is that the HAGF proposal is more or less in line with the National Livestock Transformation Plan promulgated in 2018.

“And a cursory glance at the table below shows that we have abundant and arable land nationwide.

“In Niger state, we have 76,363km², Borno state, 70,898km², Taraba state, 54,473km², Kaduna state, 46,053km² and Bauchi state, 45,837km²,” he concluded.

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