An All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu, has asked the government to immediately convert unused land to grazing routes as this will curb incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

Tinubu said this in Abuja on Monday at a national summit on conflict resolution.

The event, which was organised by The Nation and TV Continental, was themed: ‘Towards an Enduring Peace.’

He said, “The government must help herders gradually shift from their traditional nomadic existence to a more static lifestyle. We have to face the reality that modernity is making the nomadic way counterproductive and inefficient.

“Unoccupied, isolated land can quickly be turned into grazing areas in the affected states. In the long run, this will enable herders to better maintain their livestock and thus their own livelihood.”

Tinubu, who was represented by an Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Sunday Dare, said contrary to speculations, the crisis was not caused by religious or political differences but by water scarcity.

The former governor of Lagos State said the desertification in most parts of the North had caused herders to move southward with their cattle in search of greener pastures.

He added, “An acutely thirsty man remembers neither Bible nor Quran very well until his thirst is quenched. Dire need often pushes a man to behave as if bereft of compassion for a person in equally dire circumstance.

“No doubt the problem has exacerbated during the past decade. We must assume climate change plays a role.”

As a long-term solution to the crisis, Tinubu recommended that water catchment and conservation systems such as the prudent use of dams and irrigation sub-systems maintainable at the local level must be developed.

Also speaking, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, noted that the crisis had nothing to do with the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was a Fulani man.

Ribadu, who is also a chieftain of the APC, said, on the contrary, most nomadic Fulani herders felt marginalised under the Buhari government.
He added, “The recent anti-grazing laws enacted by some states should be suspended as the laws have become a recipe for conflicts.

“The immediate release from detention of hundreds of pastoralists languishing in jails without trial particularly those arrested in Benue on the pretext of violating anti-grazing laws.”
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