The Federal Government has indicated the need to revisit and remodel its national ranching programme to address recurring clashes between herders and farmers across the country.
This is contained in a memo by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, signed by a Director in the SGF office, Mr David Attah, and obtained by NAN on Tuesday in Abuja.
The memo titled, “Heightened misunderstanding between farmers and herders in Abia, Delta and Kwara States’’, was addressed to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and that of Information.
According to the SGF, the recurring invasion of farmlands by migrant herders with accompanying hostilities across affected agrarian settlements had continued to pose threat to food security.
He added that the situation had affected peaceful coexistence in the affected communities.
“The aforementioned development underscores the need to revisit and remodel the ranching programme.
“And to partly facilitate the campaign against inflammatory and divisive statements that are capable of escalating the subsisting crisis between farmers and herders,” the SGF added.
He urged the ministers to take necessary action on the matter to ensure peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders across the country.
According to him, there is a looming confrontation between itinerant herders and farmers in Opiene community, Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia over alleged invasion by the herders on farmlands in adjoining Oblene forest.
He said nomads numbering about 15 arrived the agrarian settlement from neighbouring Itu village in Gdukpani Local Government Area of Cross River.
According to him, the President-General of the community, Kalu Irem, had drawn the attention of the government to the matter and urged government to intervene to avoid confrontation.
“Similarly, uneasy calm has pervaded Ogwashi-Uku and Ubulu-Unor communities in Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State, due to increasing presence of strange pastoralists in the area.
“The anxiety followed the refusal of some resident to serve as guarantors to the intruding herders, who have already encroached on some farms at Chibata and Aboh-Ogwashi villages in same LGA.