Tinubu sets up committee to address herders, farmer clashes

President Bola Tinubu

President Tinubu.Pix: Twitter

President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of a Presidential Committee for the reform of the livestock industry and the provision of long-term solutions to recurring clashes between herders and farmers in the country
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Tinubu announced the establishment of the committee on Thursday in Abuja following the submission of a report from the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria.

The committee, which is expected to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, will propose recommendations aimed at fostering a peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers while ensuring the security and economic well-being of all Nigerians.

The President stated that the establishment of the committee is a “life-changing opportunity” for Nigeria, as it has the potential to transform the livestock industry and create jobs for millions of people.

“The Federal Government is fully prepared to cover the cost of acquiring the land. These opportunities will provide gainful employment for our veterinary doctors while opening doors for the private sector as the provision of new educational opportunities for herders’ and their children emerge. Medical facilities will be established. This is a life-changing opportunity that we have,” Tinubu said.
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“Imagine us producing enough milk for our schoolchildren. Imagine us becoming net exporters of cheese and yoghurt. Imagine us producing the skin massively with a major Nigerian leather industry. Imagine us providing cold storage facilities and employment across the nation. These things are possible in front of us.”

Tinubu also commended the former Governor of Kano State and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, for convening the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria, which produced the report that informed the establishment of the committee.

According to him, the conflict between herders and farmers is a homegrown problem that has persisted for too long.
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“Out of every tragedy, if you are careful, you will see an opportunity. We have faced this conflict for some time. We know it is a homegrown problem. It is very hard for people to stay away from their traditional, old ways,

“I tried in 2018 to bring about a solution to this problem, but it proved elusive. But I’ve been told not to ever give up and today I believe the solution is here.”
Tinubu added that the long-running dispute between herders and farmers was not their fault but rather a consequence of the leadership’s failure to find immediate solutions, noting that the role of leadership in problem-solving is about thinking and doing.

Ganduje, in his remarks, said that the committee report contains several recommendations that, if implemented, will “enhance productivity, improve livelihoods, promote environmental conservation, address substantial causes of conflicts between farmers and pastoralists, and help in reducing the cost of importation for animal products like milk and beef.”
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