Farmer/herder clashes growing over govt nonchalance

Clashes between farmers and herdsmen are increasing because the federal government is nonchalant about arresting the menace, a bishop said on Sunday.

The Anglican bishop of Ihiala diocese in Anambra, Rt. Rev. Israel ‘Kelue Okoye, said government failure to timely stop the invasion of farmland by herdsmen tend to have encouraged some of them to employ various instruments of violence to intimidate farmers.

Okoye who spoke on Sunday at the end of the first session of the third synod of the diocese at the Cathedral Church of St. Silas, Ihiala, appealed to the federal government to take decisive actions against the rampaging herdsmen in the interest of Nigerian farmers.

“Because the herdsmen are not often arrested and treated for their lawlessness, they moved a step further by acquiring guns which they employ in terrorizing not only farmers, but the families living in the vicinities they invade, purportedly in search of grazing fields.

‘’Any nation that pampers evil supervises its own liquidation. Any nation that would not deal decisively against the invasion and destruction of its farmlands and products , and the sanctity of the life of its citizens has programmed itself for annihilation.

‘’While the band of militants deceitfully parade themselves as herdsmen are allowed to unleash havoc on people , there is no better time to act than now , and let this menace be curbed.

“Responsible herdsmen should be encouraged to establish ranches for their cattle. Any business that is transacted in violation of other people’s business rights is an economic virus. I doubt if Nigeria can afford it,” Okoye said.

– Daily Trust

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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