Abuja – Apparently shopping for solutions to the incessant killings occasioned by farmers and herdsmen clashes in some parts of the country, the Federal Government delegation to the Netherlands has asked postgraduate students studying in Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) to hasten their studies and return home to help in finding lasting solutions to the crisis.
The subtle plea came from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, while interacting with Nigerian students studying in the agricultural research institute.
He said their wealth of experience and knowledge would go a long way in helping government implement the ranching programme which is still at the rudimentary stages.
Meanwhile, Julius Nnamdi Nwankpa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), who met President Muhammadu Buhari on the sidelines of his visit to The Hague, on Monday, in Netherlands, however, told Buhari that far reaching measures has to be taken to curb the spate of killings in Nigeria.
He said Buhari must accelerate efforts if anything meaningful would be achieved.
“Government and the security team must work and accelerate stoppage of unfortunate killings, but Nigerians must play their roles in breaking the cycle of violence, which usually has no winner,” he told the government delegation.
Buhari said he was pleased with the quality of Nigerians residing in Netherlands, just as he was also pleased with their level of achievements.
“I am quite pleased with your intellectual and professional achievements, and I must congratulate you for representing Nigeria well, and for always being in touch with your motherland,” Buhari told the Diasporans.
Earlier, Ogbeh’s response on security in the agricultural sector came following concerns raised by the students about the security situation in some North Central states in the country, particularly the clashes between pastoralists and farmers.
Ogbeh, in company of the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd); Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Governor Rotimi Akeredeolu of Ondo State, who are part of President Buhari’s official delegation to the Netherlands, visited the Research Centre for greenhouses in Bleiswijk, operated by WUR.
After a guided tour of the centre, Ogbeh told the students that Nigeria was looking forward to their innovation, learning, expertise and knowledge to address some of the current challenges in the agriculture and food security sectors.
He said when the ranching policy succeeds, most of the herders who roam about with their cattle would come to appreciate the gains.
Addressing the students, the NSA encouraged them to consider the “security angle” in their agricultural research to improve the situation at home, in terms of diminishing water, shrinking of spaces, insecurity and others.
“We have spent years from 1964 till now, doing feasibility studies on how to get water back into Lake Chad. Something is wrong if we keep going on and on in perpetuity without getting any result.
“If we are able to solve the problem of lack of water in the Lake Chad, it will discourage people from migrating in large numbers to other places.”
The delegation presented the gift of an artwork called Light to President Buhari, with Toyin Loyo, the creator of the work, saying, “The work is illuminating. You bring light, which will never go out, and which will shine round the clock.”
Presidency Lists What Buhari Has Done To End Killings
The presidency on Monday took time to respond to criticisms regarding its approach to tackling insecurity in the country, saying quite a lot has been done in taming crime and criminality.
In debunking such insinuations, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, reeled out a number of efforts that had been made by the Muhammadu Buhari administration including deployment of military might to put a stop to killings in the country.
Recall that since the inception of the Buhari administration crisis between farmers and herders got heightened, leading to the death of several innocent persons.
In rising to the defence of the Federal Government, Adesina said about January 2018, the police deployed to Benue State, after mass killings reportedly committed by herdsmen, closely followed by a fact-finding team led by the Minister of Interior, and deployment of Special Forces of the military, to restore law and order.
According to Adesina, the National Economic Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo set up a 10-man committee on farmers-herdsmen clashes, while the 1st Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, launched a special operation, Karamin Goro (Small Kolanut), in collaboration with the Air Force, Police, Department of State Services, and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to tackle kidnapping, robbery and cattle rustling in parts of Kaduna and Niger states (Minna-Birnin Gwari-Pandogari and Minna-Sarkin Pawa general areas).
In February 2018, the Nigerian army commenced Exercise Ayem Akpatuma covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states in order to tackle the cases of kidnappings, herdsmen-farmers’ clashes, among others.
While the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) inducted its first indigenous operational unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Tsaigumi. The newly-inducted UAV has day and night capability, an operational endurance in excess of 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km, and is capable of being used for policing operations, disaster management, convoy protection, maritime patrol, pipeline, power line monitoring as well as mapping and border patrol duties.
He said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) established a total of 10 new Units as NAF had concluded plans to set up Quick Response Wings (QRWs) across Nasarawa State, in a bid to tackle the herders-farmers clashes plaguing some states within the axis.