President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the age-long conflict between herders and farmers that was being exploited by those seeking to plant the seeds of discord and disunity amongst Nigerians, is being addressed decisively.
The president made this known while addressing the citizens in a nationwide broadcast as part of activities to mark the nation’s 58th independence anniversary in Abuja on Monday.
President Buhari stated that the Federal Government and other stakeholders had intensified efforts toward finding lasting solution to the problem.
However, the president vowed that the perpetrators of murder and general mayhem in the name of defending or protecting herders or farmers would face the full wrath of the law.
“We will sustain and continue to support the commendable efforts by all including civil society organisations, local and state governments and our traditional and religious leaders in finding durable solution to this problem.
“This being a transhumance issue, we are working with countries in our region that are also facing similar difficulties to complement our common efforts.
“In this context I must warn that the perpetrators of murder and general mayhem in the name of defending or protecting herders or farmers will face the full wrath of the law,’’ he said.
President Buhari urged all well meaning citizens to always avoid primordial sentiments while analysing such conflicts in the society.
“We urge all peace loving Nigerians to reject any simplistic portrayal, at home or abroad, of this conflict as either religious or ethnic based.
The president, who also spoke on the danger of the shrinking of the Lake Chad and climate change, said “we are one of the countries in the world most affected by environmental degradation, as a consequence of climate change.
“We are signatories to almost all conventions and agreements aimed at slowing down the effect of climate change and mitigating its now evident consequences.
“The consequences on lives and livelihoods of the shrinking of the Lake Chad and the pollution caused by oil exploitation activities alone make it mandatory on us to be at the forefront of the struggle for a safer and more sustainable environment. We will continue to mobilise international support for our efforts in this regard.’’
On security, Buhari noted that there had been a steady improvement in the security situation in the North East.
He, therefore, stated that his administration remains committed to ending the crisis and make the North East safe for all.
“Our thoughts and prayers are always with the victims of the Boko Haram’s atrocities and their families.
“Beyond that, we know that the goals of the Boko Haram terrorists include capturing territories, destroying our democracy and denying our children the right to education. We will not allow them to succeed.
“I want at this point to pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces, the Police and other security and law enforcement agencies, who have been working under the most difficult conditions to keep the country safe.
“In the process, many have made the supreme sacrifice.
“As their Commander -In- Chief, I assure these our gallant men and women that I will continue to empower them by deepening their professionalism and providing all the necessary force multipliers and enablers required for them to prevail on the field,’’ he assured.
He further disclosed that he was looking into all reported cases of inadequacies in relation to their entitlements, their welfare and those of their families with a view to addressing them.