By ‘Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Office of the Vice President
Although the herdsmen-farmers’ clashes predate this administration, indications are that the Buhari presidency will end the clashes and the violence associated with it.
This was stated by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, today while receiving a delegation led by the traditional rulers of Batta and Bachamma communities in Adamawa State: HRM Hama Batta, Homun Alhamdu Teneke (JP); and HRM Hama Bachamma, Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen (JP).
“President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to resolve the herdsmen-farmers clashes in Adamawa State and return peace and order to the affected communities,” Prof. Osinbajo said.
He further said, “Much damage has been done, not just security-wise, but to the psyche of the people; due to the series of attacks, people are afraid. We are also looking at repairing the damage that has been done to the infrastructure of the communities and rehabilitate the people.”
It would be recalled that following his visit to affected communities in Adamawa State on the 5th of December, 2017, the Vice President had commenced a series of national consultations with all relevant groups designed to find a lasting solution to the farmers-herders conflict in parts of the country.
In the first of the series, Prof. Osinbajo had a meeting on the 11thof December, 2017, with the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa; elder statesman, Mallam Ahmed Joda; and other leaders of the Fulani communities.
On the issue of proffering permanent solution to the crisis, Prof. Osinbajo further said the report provided by the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Zaria, would be considered.
Speaking further, Prof. Osinbajo admonished the people of the affected communities to embrace peace and not to seek revenge. He emphasized that it was important to disarm anyone caught with arms and weapons as it was, by law, an offence for anyone to carry unlicensed firearms.
In his remarks, the Hama Batta thanked the Vice President for the invitation and his visit to the affected communities late last year.
He said, “We came to thank you for your visit (to Numan communities). You made promises of relief materials when you visited, and the relief materials were brought. Also, the Special Forces that you promised responded on time. There is also now a police command with a Commissioner of Police.”
Also speaking, the Hama Bachamma echoed the words of the Hama Batta, and thanked the Presidency for its efforts so far in tackling the issue.