Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, on Friday urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to hasten the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan as one of the ways of curbing the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes in parts of the country.
Lalong told State House correspondents that he made the call at a meeting he had with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The NLTP was established in 2019 by the National Economic Council under the leadership of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in 2019.
During the inauguration in October 2019, Osinbajo had described the plan as a collaboration among the Federal government, state governments, farmers, pastoralists and private investors.
He had said participating states would provide land as their contributions to the project.
Lalong said he told the President that the plan should be visited to tackle security challenges facing some states.
He said, “I am a member of the livestock committee under the Vice President and I represent the North Central. That was the purpose of setting up that committee and it made far-reaching recommendations and then funds were to be made available to pilot states, -Plateau and about nine states – to address some of these issues.
“The issue was to move away from the old ways of raring cows and to find modern ways of doing it. In some places, they will do it that way, but then in a confined environment, which was agreed to by all and that is part of the point I was raising; to remind Mr President to hasten the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
“We are still left with the herdsmen/farmers problem. The implementation of the NLTP will go a long way to address these issues.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Don’t brand any tribe kidnappers, group tells Nigerians
“Whether we like it or not, we need cows and it is also some people’s occupation, but where it leads to conflicts and raises hazards like insecurity, we have to address it.
“While we tolerate it, we must still address it because it is some people’s means of economic livelihood, but it shouldn’t be posing hazards of insecurity to anybody.”
Lalong described the decision of the President to change the service chiefs as commendable.
He said there was the need for the new service chiefs to be reminded of the challenges they inherited from their predecessors.
“We had serious cases of banditry, kidnapping and so many issues of insecurity in the country. We will not expect that to continue. So, we are going to give maximum cooperation to the new service chiefs, while also commending the outgone ones for their roles in addressing issues of insecurity,” he said.
Lalong also thanked Buhari for intervening in the financial problems facing the Northern Nigeria Development Company by settling the outstanding retirement benefits of workers of the New Nigeria newspapers.
He appealed to the President to assist his state to reconstruct the Jos Main Market, which was burnt in 2012.
He put the cost of rebuilding the market at between N12bn and N15bn.