A cross section of Nigerians including Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, member of House of Representatives and Ayuba Wabba, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have condemned the recent killing of over 50 people including four policemen in a reprisal attacks by suspected herdsmen in Numan, Adamawa state.
Nkem-Abonta who spoke in a chat with BusinessDay called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take deliberate action towards tackling the menace by consulting experts who could assist in proffering lasting solution to the incessant herdsmen/farmers crises across the country.
He specifically emphasized the need for Buhari’s administration to design and adopt template for ranches, adding that continued failure to address the crises may impact negatively on food production in the country in the next few years.
“I will not say that the apparent silence of President Buhari means support for the herdsmen, even though he’s a Fulani too. But I think that the government has not done what should be done in checking the menace of fighting between farmers and herdsmen.
“One right thing we know, we want food, we also need to eat meat,should!d the cow destroy the food we will eat? For crying out loud, cattle rearing us private investment of the cattle owners, farmland is also private investment of he government, why should one destroy the other?
“I think government should come up with clear-cut policy and enforce it. All over the world people do ranches. When Buhari declared his assets, he declared some cows, over 200 in the ranch, they don’t roam about, so he should encourage them to do ranching. Those that roam about are not owners of the cows, they keep them for somebody else.
“So I do not say that Buhari’s silence is supporting them, he could mean not knowing what to do. He should now ask the experts to tell him how, because if they (farmers/herdsmen) are fighting everyday, it’s depleting food. So making a nonsense of agriculture. More so, those who are into subsistence farming and they are heating the polity, therefore they should do ranching,” the Abia lawmaker advised.
On his part, Wabba in a statement titled, ‘Grave danger ahead,’ issued in Abuja, described the ugly incident as “a descent into the state of pre-historic man and a vote of no-confidence on the machinery of state to speedily dispense justice.”
Wabba who stressed the need for deployment of solutions to curtail the menace, called for adoption of all inclusive approach.
“We are worried by the resurgence of spiralling violence between farmers and pastorialists across the country. This clearly shows that enough work towards peaceful co-existence has not been done. This portends grave danger to the country.
“Government, in light of this must be seen to adopt a well-thought-out approach that is all-inclusive, fair, just and capable of bringing enduring peace. At the risk of repetition, it is important for the sake of all of us that government takes a very serious view of this ogre of violence.
“We find it nonetheless consoling that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has visited the locus in quo. Government, we advise should build on this momentum,” the NLC chief said.