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Sultan says social-economic pressure causes farmer/herder crisis, not religion

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has said that social-economic pressure, rather than religion, often causes farmers and herders’ clashes in the country.

The Sultan spoke in Lagos as the Guest Speaker at the joint 18th S.L. Edu Annual Memorial  and Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) 2020 lecture held in Lagos State.

He said that those reading ethnic, religious and political colourations to the crisis were doing the nation a disservice.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that the topic of the lecture was “The Role of Traditional Leaders in Protecting and Restoring the Nigerian Environment”.

The Sultan also said that the shrinking Lake Chad and its attendant desertification would further spur the southward migration of the herders in search of pasture.

He said that the reduction in the availability of needed resources by herders had prompted incessant frictions between farmers and herders.

He said that in the process farmers crops had been destroyed by the herders, who were in search of green pasture and water for their animals.

“In the real sense, both the herders and farmers have the right to live and do their businesses.

“As a people, we should find a meeting point to resolve this issue and move ahead.

“The resort to different parochial views on it, is unacceptable, and it must stop,’’ the Sultan said.

The Sultan reminded Nigerians that Jan. 15, 2020 marked the 50th year when the Civil War ended.

He pleaded with both the leaders and followers not to do anything that would make Nigerians to experience such again.

He said that in human society so far, “there is a scarcity of everything and man will continue to struggle for scarce resources.

“It is then the duty of the state to come in between and fill the gap with good polices’’.

Sultan Abubakar said that the government should factor in the rising number of population through an increase in food production in order to strike a balance and avoid social crisis.

“The situation that we find ourselves in Africa is one that we house the greater number of Africans but with have little living land.

“As a younger person in Lagos, I used to relish the Bar Beach as a fun seeker with my friends some 30 years ago.

“But the same social pressure has made the natural beach to give way to other structures,’’ he said

.

He thanked Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers for donating N100 million to the children of the Nigerian fallen heroes.

He called on other Nigerians to emulate the governor’s kind gesture of taking care of those that the fallen heroes had left behind.

He added that the traditional institution had been in existence before the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914.

“Therefore, government should listen to the traditional institution in matters that concern the locals in order to avoid unnecessary friction.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Peter Dada

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