Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu says the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is the first to “put forward a workable solution to the herder-farmer” clashes.
Sheu stated this on Friday while presenting a paper at the 10th anniversary of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), Katsina state.
He said: “It is a fact that the Buhari administration is the only government of Nigeria that has put forward a workable solution to the herder-farmer challenge in all the years since independence,”
“The threat to civilians and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups from farmer-herders clashes, banditry and land disputes are of serious concern to the Buhari government.
“It is incorrect, however, to assert that the government has or is doing nothing to address the threats.
“Firstly, there are ongoing efforts for the establishment of cattle ranches to prevent or curtail open grazing, the practice that brings herders and farmers into conflict.
“This is an age-old problem facing Nigerian governments since the colonial days. However, matters of land distribution are dealt with at state level.
“This means willingness has to be shown by state governors to drive the process forward. The Federal government launched a plan last year to work with states to address these issues together.
“Unfortunately, this has been lacking in some states, and with regards to the long and determined battle waged against Boko Haram, Nigerians are aware of the efforts made by this government.
“When the government came to power, the terrorist group held and administered an area the size of Belgium. Now they hold none. The terrorists are hiding out amongst remote forests and across borders.
“This makes it difficult to extinguish the final flames of the insurgency, and the government has no illusions of the potent threat still posed. Recent statistics have shown that over 14,500 Boko Haram members have voluntarily surrendered.
The presidential spokesman added that the Buhari administration has made progress in tackling the security threats bedeviling the country — and they “cannot be denied”.