Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state says the clash between farmers and herders escalated due to the non-implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
Speaking during an interview on Channels TV on Tuesday, Lalong asked state governments to implement the plan in order to curb the incessant crisis across the nation.
The governor stressed that if the plan had been well implemented, the country would not be witnessing the current farmer-herder crisis facing it.
“If the policy had been well implemented, today we would not have been talking about farmers-herdsmen crisis because that policy was well drafted,” he said.
Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, said some states rejected the plan due to the non-availability of land for the project.
He said: “When we came and we realised that what was really very prevalent was the Boko Haram issue and farmers-herdsmen issue, the national livestock plan was introduced. But when we got to the period of implementation, there were a lot of problems here and there, even from some regions of the nation. Some who said they don’t want the national livestock plan because they don’t have the land.”
Governor Lalong said some of his colleagues and key stakeholders rejected the plan because they believe it is for a particular ethnic group.
He said some of the governors and Nigerians did not read the plan before rejecting it.
He said: “Now people don’t even care about reading it. By the time ranching and grazing is mentioned, people believe it belongs to a particular ethnic group. So we don’t even want to read what is contained in the policy to even talk about accepting it to be implemented in our various states. Now you can see the menace everywhere.
“The policy is still there, why don’t we go back and address this issue because it was specifically not only about grazing. It was to assist the farmers-herdsmen crisis and also empowering the farmers and also empowering herdsmen to be kept in one place.”
Governor Lalong said the plan was drafted in 2018, by a Kenyan lady who now works with the United Nations (UN) and was adopted by the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
He revealed that the plan was to run for a period of 10 years — between 2019 and 2028.