by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Gombe State Government says it will soon proffer a lasting solution to the perennial farmer/herder clashes that constitute a major security threat in the country.
This was disclosed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, when he received leadership of the Implementation Unit of the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support (L-PRES) Project during a courtesy visit at the Government House Gombe.
According to him, the World Bank-sponsored project is a child of necessity, following the politicization of the National Livestock Transformation Program meant to modernize the livestock farming as against the current open grazing system that has been a point of contention between farmers and herders in the country.
He said, “Considering the advantages Gombe State has in agriculture, especially livestock farming, with its Wawa-Zange Grazing Reserve, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya deemed it necessary to device new alternatives to utilize the natural endowment to the benefit of the citizens.”
Commending the team for its commitments to improving the livestock value chain through the project keyed-in by the state, Prof Njodi observed that, “Nigeria is not fully taking advantage of its livestock. We felt we are not maximizing the livestock we have to the fullest. Nothing is a waste today; developed nations put everything from livestock into use.”
“There are ways we can benefit more from these livestock apart from milk and meat; what happens to the blood that flows away? It can go back to feed other livestock, that is what advanced countries do,” he stressed.
The SSG observed that, “The bones – we only eat the biscuit bones and throw away the hard one; it can be used for some other reasons. What of the intestines and other organs? You only use some and throw the others away. It can be used as fertilizer and for other benefits,” he added.
The SSG further noted that, “Apart from economic value of the project, L-PRES will go a long way in providing a lasting panacea to the years-long security threats rooted from the farmer/herder clashes in the country.”
He commended the team for its commitments that led it to secure a World Bank loan to finance the project, and charged the project leadership to shun any form of corruption and do away with any member not ready to contribute to the success of the project.
“By implication, you are now working for the World Bank. And the World Bank has no any knowledge of friendship or relationship; what they want is for you to deliver. So, please, don’’t fail us; we have signed the MoU, it is now our project and, if anyone is not behaving normal, just tell me, we will dismiss him,” he warned.
Prof. Njodi tasked leadership of the L-PRES Project not to fail the state, but maximize its advantage for the benefit of farmers, herders, the state and the economy; and assured the team of the State Government’s continuous support and partnership for the success of the project.
Speaking earlier, the team leader and project coordinator, Dr Usman Bello Abubakar, said L-PRES Project aimed at expanding the agricultural value chain in the state, especially in the livestock sub sector, adding that, “The project is aimed at addressing the lingering farmer/herder clashes that have been claiming lives and property in the state and Nigeria.
“Our concerns are to ensure peace and security between and among these groups – the farmers and the herders, as without peace nothing tangible can be achieved. Livestock farming is a lucrative business that improves the economy of individuals, the state and the country at large.”
According to him, Gombe State is the third in Nigeria to fulfill the requirements for the World Bank loan. The coordinator appreciated the commitments and determination of the state governor, as well as the support and guidance offered to the team by the secretary to the state government.
While congratulation Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for his re-election and Prof. Njodi for his reappointment as secretary to the state government, Dr Usman Abubakar described him as “simple, easy going and exemplary leader.”