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Herdsmen: Ex-diplomat wants FG to rescue Agric sector, prevent hunger

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A former diplomat, Dr. Nnamdi Onochie, has urged the Federal Government to adopt measures to curb the activities of wicked herdsmen to protect the agriculture sector and prevent mass hunger in the country.

The former diplomat, who was also a former Commissioner for Special Duties in Delta, made the appeal in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

The former Nigerian envoy to Algeria and the Philippines said “as Nigerian farmers grapple with the consequences of herdsmen activities, government at all levels should forge a common front on the issue of herdsmen and find an innovative way to stave off hunger in Nigeria in the months ahead”.

He decried the activities of marauding herdsmen in parts of the country, saying it called for concern as they had been preventing farmers from working on their farms.

Onochie argued that the development could result to mass hunger in the near future, if urgent steps are not taking to curb their activities now, pleading that Nigeria should not allow a social problem to bring the nation to its knees.

Some armed herdsmen have been allegedly attacking farmers in parts of the country, raising concerns over the future of agriculture in Africa’s most populous nation.

Majority of the populace in the West African country depend on subsistence agriculture for survival, but ferrous attacks by herdsmen have forced the farmers to avoid going to their farms.

Onochie pointed out that inability of farmers to work on their farms meant that there would be crippling food scarcity and high cost of foodstuff in the months ahead.

“The continuing rise in the cost of foodstuff as released by the National Bureau of Statistics last month should be of concern to all and sundry that urgent solution be provided by government at all levels.

“Government at all levels must release stockpiles of food in their strategic food reserve now that the planting season is commencing, to reduce food shortages and stabilise cost of food items.’’

The former commissioner, who has been campaigning for better governance and one indivisible nation, also advised government to stop taking foreign loans and look inwards for development.

“Nigeria needs to be more focused and serious in tackling our economic issues before asking external entities to assist us with grants, loans, debt reliefs or cancellations,’’ he stated.

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