By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), has urged the federal government to urgently reclaim the land lost to desertification in the North to end herdsmen and farmers clashes in the Country.
The Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo gave the recommendation while fielding questions with newsmen at the in Benin City, the Edo state Capital.
He said desertification challenges in northern Nigeria hasdnot been given its desired prominence by past and present administration by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated that the proposed colony for cattle and ranches by the federal government in states would not stand the test of time, adding that scrambling for grazing field by herdsmen from the North to Southern part of Nigeria would continue.
He said: “Desertification has taken over in the north in a way that that most grazing land in the north has been taken over by draught (Savannah).Savannah has turned to a desert. That is the fundamental issue that this government and past government have failed to address.
“We seems that the herdsmen taking the laws into their hands by going to people farmlands and ravaging their crops and means of livelihoods. This very disturbing. But, the Fulani herdsmen need grazing fields; But, importantly also, the farmers need farmlands. Of course, there are religious dimensions, no doubt about that, but the major thing of ours is a livelihood question.
According to him, “our professed unity, peace and progress which is the slogan for Nigeria has come under severe attacks, leading to retrogression.”