The Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, has lampooned the Federal Government for failing to take decisive steps to end the escalating clashes between herdsmen and local farmers in parts of the country.
Speaking yesterday when the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, hosted members of the NEF in Makurdi, Assistant Secretary of the forum, Alhaji Mustapha Wali, said the crisis was taking its tool on Nigerians hence it should be checked.
Government has failed to resolve the problem nationwide, the only thing you hear of is conferences and conferences. “The Federal Government must put in place a single harmonized policy that would help address the transitional crisis arising from the problems between herdsmen and farmers.
“The Federal Government should not run away but assist states in order to harmonies the position on the way forward.” Earlier, Leader and Convener of the Forum, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, said the NEF, a non partisan organisation was out to ensure peaceful coexistence, unity and progress of the north and indeed the entire country.
In his welcome speech, Governor Ortom had intimated the forum on reasons the government and people of the state unanimously opted for the anti open grazing law. He said, “for several years thousands of lives were lost to the clashes between our local farmers and herdsmen, and since 2012 Benue State was under siege,13 out of our 23 local government areas were sacked by militant herdsmen.
“And as a people and government we realised that the problem could be solved if we resort to ranching and, pursuant to that, a bill was sent to the State Assembly where everybody, including herdsmen, made their contributions to the law in public hearings before its passage and signing.