President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made a fresh appeal for accommodation and tolerance among herders and farmers across the country.
He said this was necessary to end the incessant clashes between the two sides in some parts of the country.
Receiving leaders of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) who visited him in Abuja, Buhari pledged to give equal respect to all citizens irrespective of their ethnic, religious and geopolitical backgrounds.
He urged the herders to support him in the task of bringing lasting peace to the country.
He asked state governors to work with the Minister of Agriculture, who he said, had been mandated to work out a solution with the states by which herders will have access to water for their livestock and farmers security against destruction of their farmlands.
“Whatever it will take, I am determined to bring peace between farmers and herders. I urge you all to be patient and exercise restraint while we are working for an enduring solution,” Buhari was quoted by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, as telling the delegation.
He added: “Before the Benue and Taraba crises, I called the Minister of Agriculture and the Governor of Central Bank and asked them to work with the state governors on rediscovering the gazetted cattle routes, clear of farmlands that had made for peace during the First Republic.”
MACBAN, led by Alhaji Mohammed Kiruwa, informed the President that the body had sent the delegation to endorse his bid for a second term on account of the administration’s achievements in office which included the successful clampdown on kidnapping and cattle rustling; and the fight against terrorism and corrupt elements in the society.
Alhaji Kiruwa said President Buhari’s personal qualities of honesty, integrity and unparalleled commitment to the unity and progress of the nation also informed his association’s support for a renewal of his tenure.