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Herdsmen crisis: FG to establish cattle ranches - Dambazzau

Herdsmen crisis: FG to establish cattle ranches - Dambazzau

- The minister of interior has disclosed that the federal government would establish cattle ranches as a means of tackling herdsmen and farmers clashes

- He noted that the movement of herdsmen has brought about clashes which are affecting the level of food shortage

- The minister stated that another measure put in place by the federal government to address the issue is the establishment of Agro Rangers

The federal government has stated that as a solution to the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers across several states, which has led to the death of numerous individuals, it is focusing on establishing cattle ranches, Vanguard reports.

The disclosure was made by the minister of interior, Lt Gen Abdulrahman Danbazau (Retd), at the stakeholders’ dialogue on the eradication of herders-farmers conflict in Nigeria which took place in Abuja on Wednesday, April 18. gathers that the minister also stated that another measure put in place by the government to tackle the issue is the establishment of Agro Rangers.

The minister, represented by the deputy commandant general of NSCDC, Dr Mohammed Jega, also lamented over the loss of lives and property brought about by the conflict.

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He stated: “It has further been established that climate change, scarce resources, trans-boarder migration cause pastoralists mainly from other African countries to move through the North to other parts of Nigeria in search of grazing land for their livestock and this constitute the security challenge we are facing today.

“Their movement has brought about clashes which is invariably affecting the level of food shortage thereby causing food insecurity; and this further threatens the stability of our nation.

“Security is an integral part of livelihood and well being of the citizenry, and we must ensure that these challenges are surmountable. The competition for scarce resources has often resulted into a more frequent and destructive conflict than ever.

“The decade of the 1990s has witnessed the highest number of armed conflicts; most of which are consequences of struggle for natural resources. Herdsmen by nature are nomads who move from one place to another to rear their animals for economic and social survival particularly seeking a place to cater for his animals.

“Similarly, the social standing of an herdsman depends on the number of cattle possessed, just as the status of a man in the society rests on the number of properties on which his social class can be adjudged. Thus, the herdsman guards his cattle jealously.

“The incessant resource conflicts witnessed in the nation have resulted in loss of lives, properties and environmental degradation. On the strength of this, communal conflicts over land resources are usually fierce with massive destruction of lives and properties as witnessed in states like Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Adamawa and Plateau, etc.”

The minister said the federal government has not relented its efforts in overcoming the insecurity challenges by proposing to establish cattle ranches in order to address the menace.

“Another measure put in place by the federal government through the Ministry of Interior is the establishment of Agro Rangers. This responsibility is placed on the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, who are to secure and provide physical security in all the proposed cattle ranches centres nationwide.

“Also, the establishment of joint operation of the military, police and NSCDC is to put an end to the menace and protect Agro-Allied investment by both local and foreign investors," he added.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the National Food Security Council warned that if efforts are not intensified to create cattle ranches or provide better security against rustling in the country, the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen could worsen by 2019.

The warning was given during a meeting at the Presidential Villa which was chaired by the Kebbi state governor, Atiku Bagudu.

The Council urged President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly approve the establishment and training of agro-rangers who would serve as a special unit to assist security agencies check the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

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