ABUJA – The National Council of State on Tuesday in Abuja urged the incoming administration of retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to develop viable solutions to the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country.
Addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue said already, a document had been prepared by the council to address the menace.
“The issue of the clashes between the herdsmen and the farmers in various parts of the country was also addressed and the way forward.
“Actually, the report that was presented by the Economic Council under my chairmanship as relates to issue of grazing and what the Federal Government needs to do in order to address that will be presented to the incoming president so that he will act on it since there is no time for the present administration to do that.’’
According to him, the prepared document states what needs to be done that will reduce the clashes.
He recalled that a decision was taken at one of the National Economic Council (NEC) meetings on how government could reduce the clashes and gradually domesticate the herdsmen.
“We can domesticate them in ranches. That document stated clearly how the Central Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture can act.
“And many of the herdsmen are now willing to be domesticated.’’
Suswam said the council expressed concern that the clashes had resulted to the establishment of a number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in places like Niger, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa.
“These are places you have incessant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers,’’ he said.
On the issue of insecurity in some parts of the country particularly the North East region, Suswam said the National Security Adviser, who addressed the council, assured that the insurgency would soon be a thing of the past.
“But on the whole, the summary of what the NSA presented to council was to say that Nigeria is now better prepared than it was three years back in fighting any form of insurgency because outside the immediate surrounding countries, the international community has also keyed in to give serious assistance.
“So moving forward is not going to be like what happened before where these insurgents had a filled day, where our military was put in a bad light.
“Our military is well equipped now, there is better training for them to cope with terrorism. Terrorism was alien to this country and so once it came, we needed to counter the terrorists.
“But, the incoming administration will pick up from the solid foundation that has been laid in addressing security challenges.
“So, Nigerians should have confidence that insurgency will soon be a thing of the past and he (thwe NSA) assured the Council of State that before May 29, at least, the enclaves, which is Sambisa forest, will be properly combed and annihilated and that will, at least, put paid to the incessant gorilla style attacked that have been raging in the past.’ ’(NAN)
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