The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has faulted the proposals by the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, on the herders-farmers’ crisis, saying that it is an effort to placate all sides of the conflict.
Tinubu, in a statement on Saturday on the lingering herders’ crisis, had said both farmers and herders were victims of circumstances and, therefore, needed help.
But PANDEF’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson, told THISDAY yesterday that in an attempt to be politically correct, Tinubu ended up offending both sides.
He stated that security agencies are expected to take drastic and dispassionate actions against so-called “foreign” herdsmen undermining the unity and peace of the country.
He said: ”It stings when people streamline the ongoing as a farmers-herders crisis, it is not. Understandably, there have been periodic herders-farmers’ disputes in the past in the country; the question begging for an answer is, why is it severe and widespread now?”
He added that the reasons cited by the Tinubu for the crisis may be contributory but that the reality is that a group of people, whom some have referred to as aliens seem determined to forcefully(sic) take over other people’s territory, land and forests; killing and molesting innocent citizens and destroying livelihoods across certain regions of the country, which appears to some as a covert expansionist expedition that could be likened to the chronological notion of manifest destiny in western culture.
Robinson noted that a certain cleric had been quoted as referring to the herders as ethnic militants, fighting for survival.
According to him, the cleric has not been reprimanded, either, by the government or Fulani leaders.
“Let us call a spade a spade; nepotism by this administration has caused Nigeria more harm than anything else. No amount of meetings will end the herder’s crisis if the way and manner affairs of state are being conducted remain the same,” he added.