Obasanjo says local governments should solve Fulani crisis

Obasanjo defends President Buhari over the herdsmen-farmers clashes 

The former president says that it’s not Buhari’s responsibility to address the lingering clashes

Buhari and Obasanjo

Ex-president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on October 18 stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is not responsible for the solving the problem of the continual clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, the Punch reports.

The former leader was speaking during the 23rd Annual LAPO Development Forum with the theme, ‘Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities’, organised by the Lift Above Poverty Organisation in Abuja.

Obasanjo also criticised the increasing level of hunger in Nigeria, underlying that it was sad to note that about 65 % of the residents of the country were faced with food insecurity.

He said: “Some of the words that have been coming out from our leaders, particularly from state governors are not helpful! This issue is not a federal issue and another thing I don’t like about it is that when you talk of Fulani herdsmen, people talk about the president.
 
“Now because the President of Nigeria is a Fulani man, you expect him to solve the problem immediately that is not his job. And when people make comments like this, it annoys me.

“They say the President hasn’t said anything about this, that he used to be the patron of something…, but I believe that the ranching thing failed because the states and the local governments failed to do what they ought to have done.”

Ex-president stated that during the colonial era, there were grazing reserves in most parts of the North. Obasanjo added: “I need to state that it is the responsibility of local governments to take care of them.

Now, states should have even done a lot better, but they haven’t, and then when you have cattle rustling, herdsmen and farmers conflict, you try to make it a national issue. But it is not really a national issue.

“For me, the herdsmen are entitled to be able to look after their animals but they are not entitled to destroy the crops of the rural farmers, it is unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, John Paden, the authorised biographer of President Muhammadu Buhari, in his recent book revealed the roots of the good relations between two leaders.

Paden says that Buhari helped to save the life of ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo during the Sani Abacha regime in 1995.

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