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Al-Makura to FG: Develop grazing reserves to stop Nasarawa, Benue herder/farmers crisis

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By David Odama

LAFIA—GOVERNOR Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has called on the Federal Government to develop the seven grazing reserves donated by Nasarawa State to help address the clashes between farmers and herders.

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Umaru Al-Makura

Governor Al-Makura spoke, yesterday, during a stakeholders’ meeting on farmers/herders crisis organised by the state government in collaboration with the Presidential Committee on Farmers/Herders Crises, in Lafia.

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Represented by his Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Haruna Osegba, Al-Makura also suggested the need for both Federal and state governments to encourage the establishment of ranches by individuals, groups and organisations for cattle rearing.

He also disclosed that as part of measures to promote peace in the state, his government had established community-based conflict resolution committees at state, local government/development areas, district and village levels to amicably resolve conflict that might arise from warring parties in community.

Result of crisis

According to the governor, the outbreak of the crisis between herdsmen and Tiv farmers in the border communities of Nasarawa and Benue states early this year claimed several lives and properties worth billions of naira, while over 250,000 persons from both states were displaced.

Al-Makura lamented that the crisis resulted in the creation of 19 internally-displaced persons, IDPs, camps with over 250,000 displaced persons from both Benue and Nasarawa States.

He added: “I must acknowledge Federal Government’s intervention, which has contributed in addressing the security challenge in the state, the Benue Valley and, indeed, Nasarawa State border with Taraba State.”

Earlier, Secretary of the Presidential Committee, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, said stakeholders had proffered solutions to the crisis, including the need for Benue State government to give additional grace period for further engagement with the herders towards implementation of the grazing/ranching law.

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