As Nigeria prepares for 2019 general elections, a report has emerged claiming that the manifestos of the two major presidential candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, do not have solutions to the recurrent herdsmen crisis.
A report by Premium Times states the President Buhari’s re-election manifesto does not proffer solutions to the herdsmen crisis while it was ‘only mentioned with a casual air’ in Atiku’s plans.
The herdsmen-farmers crisis is not new. The Global Terrorism Index reported the conflict claimed 1,229 human lives in 2014, the year before Preside Buhari came to power.
However, there are reports that the crisis has escalated during the Buhari-led administration. A 2017 report by Lagos-based SBM Intelligence suggested the conflict accounted for 44% of Nigeria’s fatalities.
The newspaper reports that the herdsmen crisis, despite its seriousness, has not been given adequate attention by President Buhari and Atiku in their campaigns for the 2019 election.
According to the report, in the APC’s Next Level manifesto of President Buhari, there is no mention of the crisis.
The report further states that in the Atiku policy document, the farmers-herders conflict is stated among “other persistent challenges'” that include terrorism in the northeast, Niger Delta militancy and politically orchestrated acts of conflicts.
It adds that apart from a mention, Atiku did not state how he plans to address the conflict if elected.
Defending the lapse in Atiku’s manifesto, the spokesperson for the Atiku campaign, Segun Sowunmi, counter-reacted rhetorically: “Have you seen the APC’s Next Level document? Is the herdsmen crisis given much prominence?”
Sowunmi reported explained that the policy document for the purpose of the campaign could not have captured ‘all the emotions’ and plans of a party, but just the direction it plans to go.
“If for print out error or not wanting to make the document too talky or not wanting the document to be divisive or not wanting to go into specific details of security…I don’t think that is a flaw,” Sowunmi said.
He insisted that his Atiku has clear thoughts about the country’s problems more than any other candidate.
The newspaper reports that Festus Keyamo, who speaks for the Buhari campaign, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, media aides for President Buhari, declined to comment on the reported omission of the herdsmen crisis in the Next Level document.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Tunde Anifowose-Kelani, the national chairman of the Action Alliance (AA) clarified that the party had decided to support the re-election bid of President Buhari as against Atiku.
Anifowose-Kelani said in a statement the party did not adopt Atiku as was being claimed.
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