5 March 2018

Nigeria: Climate Change Behind Herdsmen Strife - Governor Bagudu

Birnin Kebbi — Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has said the global climate change as the main cause is the perennial deadly feuds between farmers and pastoralists.

Bagudu made the assertion yesterday when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, visited agricultural projects in Kebbi State.

The governor disputed the narrative often used to justify the clashes by commentators, insisting there is neither a religious nor tribal agenda behind the crises.

"If I were to describe it, it is a climate change problem, pure and simple. The lifestyle of the occupational practice of our pastoralists and farmers from either Kebbi or Ijaw land, what they used to do, can no longer be conducted in that manner, because the water resources are no longer available," Bagudu said.

He said most of the persons in prisons in Kebbi State are predominantly of Fulani stock, who are bereft of any education, Islamic or formal. He said people who follow cows don't have time for education.

He said the Fulani that are convicted are herdsmen, jailed for crimes and drug peddling.

"They also run into problems because they are prone to bandits who specialise in stealing Fulani cattle and reselling them to others as cows don't have identity. That is my proposition."

He said oil spillage in the southern riverine communities could also result in disaffection from people displaced from their land and whose source of living is destroyed as a result of shortage of fresh water.

"If an Ijaw fisherman is told to stop open water fishing, which is like a cultural form for him and you create for him a fish pond , it will takes some transition in thinking for him to accept to do that," Bagudu said.

Mohammad lauded the success of Kebbi State in agriculture, saying the country's success story in the sector is not complete, without reference to Kebbi State.

He said what is happening in the state is being replicated across the country.


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