President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the deployment of troops to put an end to the incessant bloody clashes in states between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.
The troops, however, have only been deployed for a start, in Agatu local government of Benue State.
Clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers have been a recurring decimal over the years but the recent one in Agatu, which saw some communities completely wiped out while others, who managed to escape and now living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, has been described as one too many.
Speaking when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Monday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the deployment was part of measures to end conflicts that had claimed several lives as well as affected farming activities in the states.
According to Shehu, there is a plan to map out grazing areas which had been presented to the governors of the states.
“The president took the matter to the National Council of State where the governors sit with the Vice President to solve problems of security.
“Their decision was that they will go back to all the ideas that had been there before, which is to carve out grazing reserves for cattle rearers.
“With that, there will be a clear difference between farmlands and grazing land. Because, it is when cattle are driven into farmlands that cause the trouble.
“The president has also ordered for military presence in those places in order that this kind of hostilities do not continue.
“As a long-term policy, ranching will be there but do not forget that ranching also has its challenges in so many ways.
“I know that the president has ordered for the deployment of Army to those places.
“The communities are also involved in discussion”.
The deployment, said the presidential spokesman, had been done.
Mr. Shehu said based on reports from the Defence Headquarters, the troops have been deployed and their presence already making the expected difference in the affected communities.