Alhaji Mohammed Okpoku, a member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, says incessant farmers-herdsmen clashes may cause food shortage in the state and the country at large.
Okpoku, lawmaker representing Udege/Loko Constituency in the Assembly, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Nasarawa, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state, on Thursday.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on June 2, suspected herdsmen allegedly killed eight persons and destroyed properties worth million of naira in Aisa, Aza and Owuma villages, among other communities in the Agatu neighbourhood of the state.
Okpoku underscored the need for effective collaboration among all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the incessant crisis between farmers and herdsmen in order to boost food production in the country.
He said that such collaboration should fight food insecurity, poverty, hunger and unemployment in Nigeria, while improving the citizens’ living standards and the country’s socio-economic development.
He said: “The main occupation of my constituents is farming and if they are not allow to farm during this rainy season, what are they going to eat during the dry season? This will eventually affect our country’s food security and its Gross Domestic Product.
“We condemn in strong terms the recent attacks on Agatu communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen, while led to wanton destruction of lives and properties, as no society can achieve any meaningful development in an atmosphere of strife and confusion.
“Peace is priceless and it is the necessary requirement for the development of any society but the incessant farmers-herdsmen crisis has negatively affected the lives of many Nigerians and the nation’s socio-economic development at large.
“If nothing tangible is done to stop the crisis, we may experience food shortage and it would affect the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, thereby creating more hardship and poverty for the people.”
The lawmaker said that he would continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to promote the peaceful co-existence of people in the area, irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
Okpoku called on farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the Agatu area to co-exist peacefully and be law-abiding, adding that they should also not to take the law into their hands in the interest of development.
He assured the people of his constituency of his readiness to continue to initiate good policies and programmes that had direct bearing on their lives.