The Presidency said on Thursday it welcomed the recent report by the Bishop of the Church of England, Diocese of Truro, Rt. Rev. Edward White-Benson, an aspect of which touched on the herders/farmers conflict in Nigeria and Boko Haram insurgency.
White-Benson presented the report to the UK’s Parliament and the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
The inquiry had broadly looked into the threats faced by Christians worldwide, presenting evidence of how the adherents of Christianity were among the most persecuted globally.
The report called on the United Nations to pay more attention to security measures put in place by countries worldwide to check the threats from violent groups like herdsmen and Boko Haram in the case of Nigeria, among others.
Reacting to the report, the Presidency said the Nigerian government was already tackling all forms of insecurity and disputes, including engaging stakeholders in dialogues.
“Engagement with various stakeholders is key to breeding the dialogue, and most importantly trust, to resolve this age-old conflict.
“As the report sets out, there are many causes to this conflict, from competition over land to climate change. The National Livestock Transformation Plan sets out to deal with these by preventing open grazing of cattle and consequently the destruction of crops.
“Enclosed ranching is a core component of the programme. For farmers, this guarantees their yield and livelihoods. For herders, all livestock produce more meat and milk in a ranch rather than being always on the move”, the Presidency said in a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
Reacting to the content of the report on the mission of Boko Haram to establish an ‘Islamic State’ in Nigeria, the Presidency argued that the group had been decimated except for a few areas where the insurgents still caused havoc.
It stated, “The report also highlighted the threat from Boko Haram in their mission to establish an ‘Islamic state’ in place of the secular state. Where the group once administered territory, they now hold on to none.
“In those fringe areas and spaces where they still pose a threat, they are being chased, their bases smashed. In this second term, we shall focus on extinguishing the final remnants of the group.”
The Truro report devoted some of its content to the Nigerian situation, saying, “Nigeria is one of a number of West African countries straddling the sub-Saharan transition zone between majority-Muslim regions in the North and majority Christian regions in the South.