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April 17, 2024

Current Economic Hardship “Buildup” of Past Insecurity, Farmer-herder Clashes – Umahi

Senator David Umahi, the Minister for Works, attributed the current economic hardship and hunger in Nigeria to the build up of insecurity and historical clashes between farmers and herders. He made these remarks during a press briefing at his Uburu Country home in Ebonyi State.

Senator Umahi emphasized that the current hardships are a result of a “buildup” of factors, including past insecurity and farmer-herder clashes. He acknowledged the efforts of the current administration under President Bola Tinubu in addressing these issues.

“The present hunger everyone is talking about didn’t start today,” he explained. “It’s the result of a number of factors that have been accumulating for a long time. Even before the present administration, there were ongoing security challenges and farmer-herder clashes for many years.”

He then referenced his past role as Chairman of the NEC Committee on resolving farmer-herder clashes, highlighting his experience in addressing these issues in various states. He emphasized the negative impact these conflicts had on food production.

“These problems dealt a severe blow to food production,” Senator Umahi said. “Issues like kidnappings and insecurity prevented farmers from going to their farms, contributing to the current hunger crisis.”

Senator Umahi acknowledged the challenges of addressing long-standing issues within a short timeframe. He urged Nigerians to be patient with the current administration’s efforts.

“You cannot expect the administration of President Tinubu to fix all these complex issues within just nine months,” he stated. “It’s a cumulative effect of the past, as I mentioned. We should be focusing on solutions, which is what the President has started doing. These problems cannot be solved overnight.”

Senator Umahi then compared the situation in the South East with other regions, highlighting the relative peace achieved in addressing farmer-herder clashes. He questioned the rationale for protests in the South East, given the progress made.

“If you check carefully, especially in the South East, you’ll see that we no longer have frequent farmer-herder clashes,” he said. “So, why should we join protests when the President has addressed our major problem?”

He differentiated the current security challenges in the South East from the historical farmer-herder clashes, attributing them to a different cause.

“The problem we have now in the South East is self-inflicted, related to the issue of the unknown gunmen,” he explained. “So, if we protest, who are we protesting against?”

Senator Umahi concluded by reiterating his belief that the South East should not participate in protests against the current administration, given the positive steps taken on the farmer-herder clashes. He emphasized the importance of resolving the remaining security challenges, like the “unknown gunmen,” to ensure complete safety and allow farmers to resume their work freely.

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