The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has said that farmer-herder clashes had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been affected by development.
His words: “I have asked to dig up gazettes of the First Republic. There are cattle routes and grazing areas. The routes and the areas are known. You have to stay there and if you allow your cattle to stray into another person’s farm you will be arrested.’
“Their route is known; grazing area is known. So, I asked for the gazette to make sure that those who encroached on the cattle route and grazing areas will be dispossessed.
“There’s a cattle thing between the Tivs and Fulanis. The Governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom, said I’m not disciplining the cattle rearers because I’m one of them.
“I cannot say I’m not one of them but Ortom was unfair to me and I told him that the Nigerian cattle rearer was not carrying anything more than a stick or machete to cut some trees.
“But those sophisticated ones are going with AK 47. Fulani from some parts of Africa looks the same. They think they are the Nigerian ones. So, I assure you we are trying to resuscitate these cattle routes and grazing areas and make them accountable.”
My appointment not lopsided
Buhari said he appointed Maj-Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the chief of Army Staff because of his on-field experience.
The President said: “Do you know where he was serving before he became the chief of army staff? Maiduguri. You can’t just pick somebody just because he is wearing the seniority rank.
“You put somebody who has been in the mill, who has suffered with the soldiers. They know him, and he fought with them and so on. “