- Presidency speaks on the violent conflicts currently rocking the country
- It said the federal government is working on a plan to end the conflict soonest
- The presidency also said a conference of stakeholders on infrastructural and agricultural will put in place, a plan for immediate relief
- The presidency said this on Tuesday in Abuja
The Presidency on Tuesday said it working on a plan that will end violent conflicts across the country.
A conference of stakeholders on infrastructural and agricultural development to put in place a plan for immediate relief and long-term plan for the expansion of agriculture is in the offing.
The conference, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, will tap into experiences and best practices to draw up a planned development 20-30 years ahead based on population and development projections and will take into consideration environmental impacts.
The statement said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has been concerned about these conflicts each time he received those very gruesome pictures of mayhem from several parts of the country, especially as it affected Benue and neighbouring states. He is equally worried about some public pronouncements and finger-pointing that are, in most cases very unhelpful to peaceful coexistence of our diverse peoples.
“The President is conscious of his duty to Nigerians, not least because he is held accountable for everything that goes wrong. He deeply sympathizes with the families and all the other direct and indirect victims of this violence. He is determined to bring it to a permanent end.
“While there are many Nigerians who see the conflict between the nomadic herdsmen and peasant farmers as an ethnic problem, others point to religious differences and agenda. The President does not subscribe to such simplistic reductionism.
“President Buhari holds the view, as do many experts, that these conflicts are more often than not, as a result of major demographic changes in Nigeria. When Nigeria attained independence, the population of the country was estimated at about 63,000,000. Today the population is estimated at close to 200,000,000; while the land size has not changed and will not change. Urban sprawl and development have simply reduced land area both for peasant farming and cattle grazing.
“It is therefore both unfair and unkind, for anyone to keep insinuating that the President is condoning the spate of killings in Benue and other neighboring States.
“President Buhari has publicly condemned the violence at every turn. He is prepared to permit every possible step that can lead to the stoppage of the killings. It is on account of this he brushed aside an opinion that the federal government should challenge the constitutionality of the anti-open grazing bill. He wanted to give a chance to the State government to succeed in stopping the senseless killings.
“It will be recalled that as he did in dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria, which required sustained action from the governstead sit down with the government and security forces and carry everyone along in finding an all-embracing solution.”