SENIOR special assistant for media and publicity of the president, Mallam Garba Shehu, said yesterday that livestock farmers should be stopped to wander around the country to prevent clashes with farmers.
Shehu spoke when he appeared on Sunrise Daily, Channels Television.
A presidential spokesman responded to allegations that President Muhammad Bukhari had plundered the lands to distribute to livestock farmers.
The claim was made by a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Katch Ononuju, who was also on the program.
Ononuju said the government did not care about the lives of its citizens, and therefore continued kidnappings, killings and clashes between farmers and ranchers.
But Shehu blamed the drying of grazing areas in the north for the pastor’s actions.
He said: “This country has problems with grazing because the cattle breeders are mostly Fulani. The challenge is from these places that they practiced, you know, invading the desert which has led to the drying up of many pastures in the northernmost parts of the country.
“This put pressure on the cattle breeders who were looking towards the southwestern green grass, so that their cattle will eat, and they will also have drinking water. It is a global climate situation that is deplorable given what has happened along the Lake Chad basin.
“I am glad that the northern governors are gathering to say that we should solve this grazing problem because we have to stop these cattle breeders from wandering and eating their crops all over the country.
“They drive cattle to agricultural lands and eat crops. Farmers retaliate and follow the killings. The state cannot continue in this way.
“The president has no plans to hunt down land other than the one he inherited.
Vanguard News Nigeria