Ministry of Nomadic and Pastoral Affairs is committed to ending farmer-herder clashes -Commissioner
Commissioner for Nomadic and Pastoral Affairs in Niger State, Alhaji Umar Ahmed Rebe, has affirmed the ministry's readiness to bring an end to the incessant farmer-herder clashes in the state.
He stated that the ministry under his watch will ensure peaceful and harmonious coexistence among the farmers and herders, assuring that his ministry will put an end to the menace.
The commissioner, who spoke with journalists in an interview in his office on Friday, noted that the ministry was created by the present administration of Governor Umaru Mohammed Bago to bring all the nomads together and give them a sense of belonging.
According to him, the wisdom behind the creation of the ministry was aimed at bringing all the nomads and pastoralists in Niger State together to identify their problems and find a better way of solving them that will bring about lasting peace, security, and harmonious coexistence among the farmers and herders as well as the pastoralists.
He noted that the present administration was committed to bringing all the groups together to look inward and identify the problems of insecurity and other challenges bedeviling the Fulanis, stating that if these problems were identified, then the solution to their problems would not be difficult to solve.
According to Ahmed Rebe, the ministry was concerned about the causes of the problems bedeviling the good and cordial relationship that was known between the herders and farmers, stressing that it is only if the problem is identified that it will be solved once and for all.
"You cannot solve a problem without knowing the causes of that problem; by the time the causes of the problem are already identified, solving it will be so easy", he added.
He disclosed that he had already put in place a 30-member critical stakeholders committee to go out and embark on aggressive sensitization and awareness-raising to educate the herders in their various settlements across the twenty-five local government areas of the state on the need for them to know the wisdom behind the establishment of the ministry and to come on board to join hands with the governor.
This, he explained, will further cement the already existing mutual relationship between the herders and farmers in the state, adding that the committee will be held responsible if they fail to achieve the purpose behind setting up the committee.
He assured that the ministry, as part of its mandate, will soon solicit support from donor agencies, particularly the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) and the National Mass Literacy Agency (NMLA), to assist in the renovation of some nomadic schools in the state for the enrolment of nomadic children who are of school age.