The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has lent his voice to the persistent herder-farmer crisis, saying the issue needs urgent, practically-oriented solution.
According to THE NATION, Malami said this on Tuesday while speaking at the Leaders and Life News House’s Peace, Unity and Security Lecture Series 2021 in Abuja.
Represented by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the minister admitted that the clashes between farmers and herders are real and have become a pressing national issue.
He said the crisis has dominated the media space and steps were needed to tackle it, adding that the issue “requires real-ime and practically-oriented solutions”.
Malami recommended the creation of a federal government agency that would regulate the activities of herdsmen, adding that the establishment of a pastoral commission would regulate the herdsmen crisis in the country.
He said the recent increase in cases of rape and other mal-adaptive behaviors may not be unconnected with drug abuse, therefore, the adoption of a practical and community-oriented approach, involving critical stakeholders in addressing the nation’s security challenge.
The AGF argued that some of the ways for a peaceful Nigeria include the strict adherence to the rule of law respecting the sanctity of the fundamental human rights in all ramifications, including freedom of movement and the right of citizens to live and do business in whatever part of the country they choose to, and other provisions as contained in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is not out of place for me to say that simply addressing farmer-herder crisis from purely theoretical perspectives often devoid of reality and without synchronisation with the needs and aspirations of the involved stakeholders are not only counter-productive but inimical to the emergence and sustenance of a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
The minister also recommended the creation of regulated grazing reserves to replace the present pastoral system. According to him, “It is against this backdrop that I proffer the following recommendations for the consideration of the symposium: The setting up of regulated grazing reserves to replace the “Burtali” or “Hurumi” pastoral system.
“Intensive enlightenment to livestock breeders on the need for sedentary farming and transhumance agriculture as a complimentary economic process to nomadic farming.
He further recommended the provision of social amenities, pointing out that “the provision of water holes in remote grazing locations, subsidized veterinary care and mobile ambulatory services for surgeries and other medical interventions for livestock will go a long way in solving the conflicts.
The minister also prescribed the provision of infrastructure – social amenities, educational facilities, and cattle markets at central locations to accelerate nomadic settlements.