Farmers-herders crisis politicised – Taraba Speaker

By Callistus Agwaza,

Lafia (Precise Post) – Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly Prof. Joseph Albasu Kunini, has condemned in strong terms the -herders conflict in the country, stressing that it has become intractable because it has been given political coloration.

Speaking at a two-day multi-stakeholders regional peace building dialogue in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, organised by West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Speaker cited the case in Taraba State where frantic efforts to end the age-long conflict met stiff resistance because of the political coloration by the opponents.

The two-day event was specifically organised for the stakeholders from Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states worse hit by the conflict and aimed at collectively review emerging conflicts, risks and opportunities for collaborative prevention, as well as assess progress made across the three states in the Middle Belt region.

According to the Speaker, all critical stakeholders must agree to sensitise and conscientise the people that time has come to adopt as the global best practice in livestock production, devoid of political and tribal sentiments.

He recalled that the Taraba State Government, a couple of years ago, sponsored the legislators and others to travel to Nairobi, Kenya and Brazil to study their methods of livestock production to be replicated in the State.

While there, they discovered that both countries had long adopted as lasting solution for -herders conflict and wondered why that of Nigeria has been politicised.

He said, “when we resolved that we were going to pass the Taraba State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill, 2017 there was stiff resistance by the opponents who refused to present any memorandum at the Public Hearing in order to kill the bill. So the problem is political because we refused to sensitise and conscientise the people on the enormous advantages of to the herders.

“The reality is that not all are herders, some are ; also there are some non- who are herders, unfortunately they are not recognised as such. It is imperative to recall that the quest for modern techniques of animal husbandry, specifically livestock production, dates back to 1960s in Northern Nigeria.

Our correspondent reports that Taraba state has been devastated by activities of killer who now threaten across the state as most farmers are afraid of going to their farms for fear of been gruesomely hacked to death by the heavily armed .

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