EKITI, Nigeria – The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Adetoyi Ezekiel Olabode has revealed that dialogue by concerned stakeholders in the Agricultural sector is the solution to incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country.
Olabode made this declaration while addressing journalists on the sidelines of the year’s review organised by FarmKonnect in Ibadan Wednesday night.
Olabode insisted that dialogue between various stakeholders in the Agricultural sector will bring an end to the problems of invasion of farms by herdsmen.
He noted that bringing herdsmen, farmers, security agents and other stakeholders under one umbrella with a resolve to work harmoniously will put an end to farmers/ herdsmen clashes.
Olabode said, “Only yesterday, with the instruction of the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, we believed we are entering the dry season now and cattle need to feed.
“Cattle need grasses now, that is why some of the herdsmen are now moving from Kano, Katsina, Sokoto coming through the land, some of them are going to the east and they are eating crops.
“But, I believed that with dialogue. Coopting Miyeytti Allah, the Fulani, the breeders, bringing them together under one umbrella with all the security agents to give a caveat.
“I believed that if we jaw-jaw is better than war-war and that is what we did yesterday in Ekiti State and everybody signed.
“We have constituted a committee to look into every stranger that enters, just like their co-Fulani said that they will be registered, even with ID cards. I believed that we must dialogue. I believed we must live together in peace.
“It is only a dialogue of this nature that can bring peaceful coexistence among the farmers, herdsmen and other stakeholders in the sector.”
Mr. Saheed Oluwole Azeez in his contribution noted that it is important for the government to protect the farmers the way the government is protecting the herdsmen.
He said, “Herdsmen have been on my farm severally. We have had a time when we spoke to them. We have had times that we scared them too. But, the government must invest in security to keep the herdsmen from our farms.
“We hope that the government realizes that it is important to protect the herdsmen, that it is important too to protect the farmers as they are protecting the herdsmen.
“Because scarcity is the basis for war. If there is no food, people will become hostile and that is a very terrible thing. I believed it is important that the government look at this.”