by Musa Abdullahi
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Wednesday in Abuja reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to finding a permanent solution to the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
The President spoke at an audience with leaders and members of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani Socio-Cultural Association who were at the Presidential Villa to endorse him as their “sole candidate” for the March 28 presidential elections, says Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President (Media& Publicity) in a statement issued to NewsWireNGR on March 18, 2015.
The Association also invested President Jonathan as Life Patron of the Fulani Socio-Cultural Association.
Speaking after his investiture and endorsement for re-election, President Jonathan thanked the Association for the honour and commended the Fulanis for their significant contributions to the development of the country.
The President described Fulani pastoralists as a major economic group in Nigeria and applauded their substantial contributions to food security in the country.
“Migration of herdsmen and their cattle often lead to clashes between farmers and herdsmen. Our government will work with you to develop places where herdsmen can stay and get water and pasture for their animals.
“We are working with some governors and we have a committee that is looking into the matter to ensure that you no longer pass through much pains to rear your cattle,” President Jonathan told members of the association.
The President said that as part of its agenda for positive transformation in the agricultural sector, his administration was working towards developing cattle rearing in Nigeria to a level where the nation can earn higher revenues from meat exports.
“Our plan is to move more of the meat than the animal,’’ he said, adding that the new initiative will also encourage basic education for young nomads.
The President remarks was intermittently interrupted with shouts of “Nigeria, Sai Jonathan’’, “Nigeria, Sai Goodluck.”
Alhaji Abdullah Bello Bodejo, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore thanked the President for receiving members of the Association.
“We will go back and mobilize our people to support you because you have the interest of Fulani’s at heart,’’ Alhaji Bodejo who spoke through an interpreter said.
Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, FCT Minister Bala Mohammed, the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, the Principal Secretary to the President, Ambassador Hassan Tukur and other Presidential aides were present at the occasion.