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A gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Mohammed Shaibu has strongly condemned the recent incidences of violence between farmers and herdsmen in Kogi State.
Speaking in Anyigba on Sunday after a visit to some of the troubled spots, Mohammed Shaibu decried the magnitude of loss of lives and properties in the area and called for effective policing of rural communities by conventional security agents in conjunction with locals.
“What happened is most unfortunate. It is more painful because it could have been avoided if only close attention was paid to demands of rural dwellers that certain modalities be worked out to guaranty the peaceful co-existence between farmers and herdsmen.
“The trouble spots are all areas with enormous agriculture potentials. It is therefore imperative for government to realize that while herdsmen are nomadic, farmers are settlers who pay taxes to LG authorities and as such are contributors to the advancement of the local economy.
“There are grave economic consequences in the event that farmers are forced to abandon their farms and that include acute food shortage; whatever is available will be sold at very high costs, youth restiveness, distortion of the agriculture value chain of income, shortage in IGR and eventual increase in insecurity and crime all of which are situations Kogi State cannot afford to have,” he said.
Mohammed called for increased policing of troubles spots and other areas vulnerable to attack.
“The conventional security apparatus including the police, civil defense, Nigerian Army and the DSS must be supported to tame this ugly incidence. They must build confidence and seek cooperation from natives along the lines of intelligence gathering and sharing as well as surveillance. This is the most logical thing to do.
“My heart is firmly with the relatives of the deceased and other victims of this nefarious conduct of undesirable elements. I share their grief and pray the Almighty God consoles the victims and good people of Kogi State who have suffered this avoidable incidence. I also urge the Kogi State government and NEMA to urgently reach out to affected persons in their respective locations through distribution of relief materials and to ensure their immediate resettlement and reintegration into society.”
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