Lalong: Herdsmen, farmers now carry AK-47, solution is National Livestock Plan implementation
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has lamented the proliferation of arms including AK-47 rifles amongst herders and farmers in the country.
Lalong stressed that the full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) was the solution to the farmers/cattle rearers saga that has led to destruction of lives and properties.
The governor said this during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
He said the National Livestock Transformation Plan was conceived since the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and has been used partially in handling farmer-herders crisis even in Plateau State.
He said: “When we came and we realised that what was really very prevalent was the Boko Haram issue and farmers-herdsmen issue, that was why the national livestock policy 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 or anything related to ranching because they don’t have the land.
“At that time, if the policy was well implemented, today we would not have been talking about the farmers-herdsmen crisis because that policy was well-drafted.”
Lalong said some people do not care about reading the plan because they believe it is for a particular ethnic group.
“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,” he added.
He noted that he was part of those who worked on the policy and it has been useful in addressing the issue of farmers-herdsmen crisis even in Plateau State.
“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 in the process of implementation.”
NLTP was proposed by the former minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, in 2018 and was adopted by the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The plan allows state governments to implement whichever aspect they feel comfortable with.
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