By Lawrence Olaoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with seven state governors over the ongoing security challenges in some states of the federation, especially the herdsmen and famers clashes.
This even as the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President , has set up a sub-committee headed by the Ebonyi state Governor, Dave Umahi, to interface with the leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBA), farmers and other stakeholders involved in the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes in the country.
The Umahi panel was mandated to visit the hot-spots of the crisis including Benue, Plateau and Taraba states.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zanfara state, Abdulazeez Yari, who briefed newsmen after a meeting with the Vice President.
Others at the meeting with Osinbajo aside Umahi and Yari were the Plateau and Taraba states governors: Simon Lalong and Darius Ishaku respectively. Deputy governors of Benue state, Benson Abounu, his Oyo state counterpart, Moses Adeyemo sand the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau were also there.
Asked about the meeting, Yari said “There is progress. One, this committee is a NEC committee established by the Vice President so that this issue of herdsmen/farmers clashes will be put to rest.
“Though it’s a long standing problem since 2007 in some states particularly in my own state, we have been battling with it. Now the states and federal government under the leadership of the Vice President, we agreed to have a small committee at NEC so that the situation will not get out of hand; so that it won’t be looked at as an ethnicity crisis or religious crisis.
“So, in our discussion today, we have set up a committee headed by governor of Ebonyi State, while plateau and Adamawa governors are members. Other people will be brought to join the committee from hotspot states – Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Zamfara, where there is crisis so that they can interface with the Miyetti Allah and other group to see how we can reduce this to the nearest minimum.
“Why we cannot say we can put this matter to rest is because some of them have taken this as a money making venture, some are criminals who hide under this to perpetrate this act.
As government, we have to take all the measures despite the fact that the Army, Police, all the security agents are on the field at the respective places, still we have to form this committee to interface with those actors so that this matter can be reduced to the barest minimum and possibly wiped off.”