Over 60,000 people killed in farmers-herders conflict – Reps
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on August 29, 2023
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas has stated that over 60,000 Nigerians have been killed as a result of the incessant clashes between herders and farmers.
He also lamented that, farmers and herders clashes which were hitherto seen as a regional or a confined conflict have taken a new dimension as it has expanded and grown into a wider conflict beyond the borders of many West African countries.
Abbas stated this in an opening address at the stakeholders interactive session held by the House Ad-hoc Committee on the ‘Recurring Annual Clashes Between Farmers And Herders In Yamaltu/Deba Local Government Area Of Gombe State, And Neighbouring Local Government Areas, including Other Regions Of The Country With Similar Incidents’ on Monday.
Abbas who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, said it was because of its implications for the collective good of the nation that, the House resolved to take a critical look into the causes, nature, dimensions, actors, impact, and possible solution to the nagging national challenge.
He said, “The clashes have resulted in avoidable losses of lives and property. It is estimated that over 60,000 people have been killed since 2001. It ought not to be so.
“The number of deaths, injuries, and kidnapped persons constitutes an alarming situation and poses a serious national security challenge for Nigeria’s quest to attain food security and alternative foreign earnings from the agricultural sector. This menace requires urgent action to be taken.
“These conflicts have escalated in recent years and it is quite consequential to our national security. What is even more concerning is the appropriation of these conflicts by terror groups, bandits, and international criminal organisations.
“This has had severe consequences including the restriction of farmers from access to their farmlands, leading to food price inflation, a high cost of living, unemployment, and loss of foreign earnings that would have accrued through the agricultural sector”
On his part, the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu represented by Professor Abdullahi Mohammed Ya’u lamented that the farmers/herders conflict has taken more lives than most of the crises seen in the country, adding that the problem is still ongoing and affecting the nation’s collective socio-economic interests.
He said the NSA office has expanded its focus to tackle the security issues involved by addressing the issue through dialogue, and community engagements in collaboration with all relevant authorities.