Farmers/ Herders Conflict: Akeredolu, Ganduje, two other governors storm Ogun for peace parley - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE


Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Farmers/ Herders Conflict: Akeredolu, Ganduje, two other governors storm Ogun for peace parley

By Our Correspondent

Four northern governors, including Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Tuesday stormed Ogun state to find a permanent solution to the incessant conflict between farmers and herders in the State.

The northern governors who attended the peace parley were that of Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara and Kano States, Abubakar Sani Bello, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Bello Muhammad Matawalle and, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Also in attendance at the all peace parley, are the national president of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, and the National leadership of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders association.

Speaking at the event, Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun said the parley was to find lasting solution to the security challenges, especially, as it relates to farmers-herders in the State.

"It is important that we gather and find lasting solutions on recent happenings in our dear State, especially as it concerns the coexistence of farmers and herders in our dear State.

The governor lamented that It has become worrisome that people who had co-existed peacefully for years are suddenly at each others throat on account of sources of livelihood.

"From time immemorial, herders and farmers have peacefully cohabited. And have continued to find joint solutions to their mutual challenges, occasional frictions and misunderstandings and sorted these differences amicably.

"However, these misapprehensions took a violent dimension in the last couple of weeks.

"We have heard cases of arson, maiming and killings in extreme instances.

"The question is; what could have turned issues that hitherto had easy and workable templates for resolutions to suddenly become seemingly intractable? And more worrisome is that it is taking an ethnic coloration.

"These are some of the questions we must find answers to at this parley.

"We must not only find solutions. We must also come up with more practical recommendations towards finding lasting solutions.

Prince Abiodun added that as "administration, we have not folded our arms. Even before now, we have always been methodical, inclusive, responsible and responsive in our approach to governance.

"As part of measures to finding the lasting solution to the farmers-herder crisis, the fact finding Team constituted has submitted an interim report to the Security Council of the State for consideration.

"It became evident there are some elements intent on setting our people against one another by whipping up ethnic sentiments.

"The recent avoidable conflicts left casualties and loss of property on both sides.

"Those fomenting the crisis are said to be non-residents in our state. Unfortunately, the crisis has been exacerbated by some undesirable elements within and outside the State that whipped up ethnic sentiments.

"They sneak in at night, wreak havoc and retreat after their evil acts.

"In whatever form, colour or ethnic group, a criminal is a criminal. We condemn all forms of crimes and criminality, regardless of the ethnicity of the perpetrators.

"There is a need for collective action between all of us, whether as native farmers; cattle owners; herders; local community leaders; security agents etc. to rid our dear State of these criminals.

"The presence of my brother Governors cutting across all political parties shows a joint commitment to the peaceful resolution of this conflict, and a reflection of the relationship and mutual goodwill I share with  my brother governors across the country and across party lines.

"They are also here because of their indigenes that have lived here for many years peacefully and have accepted to lend their voices to enable peaceful cohabitation".

In his submission, Kano State governor, Abdulahi Ganduje urged the Federal government to give financial assistance to herders just as they did to farmers.

He also advocated for the ranching system rather than the pastoral system, saying that the adoption of the ranching will curb many of the crisis being faced by herders.

The Chairman of Southwest Governor's forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu said the herders farmers conflict will only be solved when the herders respect the mutual understanding between farmers and herders, saying that in crisis period, nobody gains.

"When you adopt ranching like my brother governor Ganduje had said, you will make more money, your children will have time to go to school, live a fulfilled life and create more wealth.

" Pastoral system is obsolete, you must move with time, no other civilised nation adopt the wandering system again, but yet you need government assistance to stay in business, this we will pursue with appropriate quarters.