The Federal Government has said the country’s military manpower has limitation to securing every village and Nigerian in the Middle Belt region.
This, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh was why incessant killings by herders and farmers’ clashes cannot be stopped.
Ogbeh stated this on Thursday at a town hall meeting in Abuja on the farmers and herders’ clashes, convened by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
Ogbeh , however, said the National Emergency Management Authority has been mandated to rebuild villages in Benue State and ensure they are not far from one another to ensure military protection.
He reiterated that the farmers and herdsmen’s clashes which had led to loss of lives and property were caused by the influx of weapons into the country through the trans-Saharan routes.
“I was with the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, in Benue State on Tuesday and the N10bn to be given to troubled states announced is not only for Benue, which is apparently facing this crisis.
“The crisis in the IDP camps is very severe. Lots of women and children want to return home, but there are no homes. So, the idea is to rehabilitate the homes as quickly as possible to let them return home.
“Two, NEMA is redesigning the settlements in the villages to bring more communities together so that people don’t live too far apart. Otherwise, we don’t have enough security to guard every settlement.
“Unless you have units of 10 or 11 soldiers to guard each village, there is no way that the current security network can cover the needs of villagers who may be attacked in the afternoon or night. That was one of the things we studied on Tuesday.
“Three, we have to do everything we can to end these pastoral movements, slowly and in the large scale later.
“We have 415 reserves. Some have been encroached upon while others are still there. We have to provide water and grass, and protect the herdsmen from cattle rustlers, who are also Fulani,” Ogbeh stated.