President Buhari’s insistent that only grazing routes will solve the problem between herders and farmers has drawn criticisms from Nigerians. The President had during an interview aired Wednesday evening by Channels Television insisted that grazing routes must be restored across the country to address the gory seasonal farmers-herders clashes. He said that state police was not part of the options his regime would explore to address insecurity.

It could be recalled that the President had approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Buhari said, “The Ministers of Agriculture, from Audu Ogbeh to Mahmud now; one of the issues I discussed with them is to go and get the gazettes of past republics, especially of northern states.

“There are cattle routes and grazing grounds, and herders are confined to those areas. Those that go outside it were arrested. So we said we have to go back to that system again to make sure that we prepare the grazing areas, windmills and even veterinary departments so the herders won’t veer into farms.

“What we have to do is start from bottom-upwards. We must ensure that the grazing areas and ponds are secured for them, so they don’t have to go through people’s farms.”

The President expressed surprise over the clashes between people who, he said, used to co-exist in peace for decades. He said the problems were communal and could only be solved at community levels.

Reacting, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that insisting on grazing routes shows Buhari lacks ideas. The National Chairman of the Party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu,  accused the President of being comfortable with the state of insecurity in the country, insisting that the President’s statement that state police was not an option suggested that the situation might not be about to change.

He added that the President’s insistence on grazing routes to address the challenge of killer herdsmen showed that Buhari was bereft of ideas.

Ayu also criticised the President for pushing the blame for the incessant killing of farmers by terrorists on locals along grazing routes.

A statement from Dr. Ayu’s Media Office quoted the PDP National Chairman as declaring that “it appears the continued killings in some localities of Nigeria, particularly in the North, and more specifically in President Buhari’s home state of Katsina, may not matter to him” with his statement that state police is not an option”.

The PDP chairman, who described Buhari’s interview on Channels Television as a waste of time, said it would be futile for anyone to expect anything new from the President.

He added, “As has been said by many before now, to expect anything new from our President would be a misplaced and unfortunate expectation.

“From the economy, to insecurity, killing of innocent farmers by terrorists (which some erroneously term farmer/herder clashes) and other sundry issues, President Buhari honoured his calling as a President who has nothing new to offer.”



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