In a significant move aimed at resolving the long-standing clashes between herders and farmers, President Bola Tinubu has announced the creation of the Federal Ministry of Livestock Development.

During the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on Livestock Reforms at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja, Tinubu expressed his optimism about the ministry’s potential to end the disputes.

This new ministry is part of a broader strategy to manage and mitigate conflicts over land, pasture, and water resources.

The President emphasized that the solution to the conflict, which has plagued Nigeria for years, is now within reach. “Who says the solution is far? I say, ‘No, the solution is here.’ Majority of you have great experience and you want Nigeria to prosper,” Tinubu stated.

The President said that the establishment of the ministry would enhance the quality and safety of livestock products, reduce food waste, and ensure a stable supply from farm to market.

Furthermore, the Federal Government is committed to covering the cost of acquiring lands to promote peaceful coexistence between pastoralists and farmers.

The committee is tasked with developing recommendations to foster harmony between herders and farmers, thereby ensuring the security and economic well-being of Nigerians.

President Tinubu himself will chair the committee on livestock reforms, with former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Attahiru Jega serving as the deputy chairman.

This initiative follows Tinubu’s approval of the presidential committee to address the farmer-herder clashes and support the livestock and dairy industries, which he initiated ten months ago. The committee, chaired by All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Abdullahi Ganduje, had presented 21 recommendations, including the establishment of the Ministry of Livestock Resources.

The creation of this ministry shows the effort by the Nigerian government to resolve the decades-long conflict. Previous administrations had implemented various measures, such as the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) initiative, but these efforts failed to achieve lasting peace.

The conflict, often depicted as an ethno-religious struggle between Muslim herders and mainly Christian farmers, is further complicated by climate change and the expansion of agricultural activities. The violence has resulted in significant loss of life, most recently in Plateau State where dozens were killed in December.

As President Tinubu looks to a future where pastoralists and farmers coexist peacefully, the establishment of the Ministry of Livestock Development is the beginning of a bold step towards addressing the root causes of these conflicts and fostering peace amongst farmers and herders.

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