On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari said the Southern Governors’ resolutions provided no solution to the herder-farmer conflicts “that have been going on for generations in our country.”
He also mentioned his firm determination to find a lasting solution to the herder-farmer dispute.
In a tweet, Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, recalled that the president had approved steps to end the skirmishes, as recommended by Agriculture Minister Sabo Nanono in April.
The presidency maintained that Buhari’s intervention came before the Southern Governors Forum’s ban on open grazing.
“It is equally true that their announcement is of questionable legality, given the Constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT) – regardless of the state of their birth or residence.”
Shehu said the governors’ declaration has been preempted, “for whatever it is intended to achieve”.
In consultation with farmers and herders alike, he observed that the President has been rightly concerned about these issues more than any other person.Buhari, according to Shehu, commissioned and approved an actionable plan for rehabilitating grazing reserves in the states, beginning with those who are fully committed to the solution and follow the rules.
The aide went on to say that the government is making far-reaching and realistic changes to enable different communities to coexist peacefully: farmers are being supported to till their fields, herders are being supported to rear their livestock, and Nigerians everywhere are being kept safe.