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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Federal Government moves to tackle farmer-herder crisis with Pulaku initiative

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The Federal Government announced on Tuesday the initiation of the Pulaku Initiative, a comprehensive resettlement program designed to address the longstanding clashes between farmers and herders across various flashpoints nationwide. The initiative, named after the Fulani code of conduct, seeks to tackle the underlying issues exacerbating the crisis, particularly prevalent in the North-Central region, which has claimed over 60,000 lives since 2001.

According to a statement by Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to Vice President Kashim Shettima, the Pulaku Initiative will initially target seven states disproportionately affected by the conflicts. These states include Sokoto, Kebbi, Benue, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, and Kaduna.

The announcement comes after Vice President Shettima’s declaration eight months ago of plans to address insurgency and poverty, emphasizing the need for a multi-dimensional approach to resolve the security crisis in Nigeria’s North-West. Inaugurating a steering committee to oversee the initiative’s implementation, Shettima emphasized the importance of revitalizing conflict-torn communities through infrastructure development and social amenities.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Abuja, Vice President Shettima underscored the initiative’s urgency, portraying it as a critical step towards fulfilling President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s promises and fostering sustainable development nationwide. He emphasized that the Pulaku Initiative represents a national commitment to confront a shared challenge, urging collective resolve and unconditional compassion to address the crisis.

The initiative, Shettima stressed, is not designed to compensate any particular group or region but rather to provide a practical response to a complex and longstanding issue. He highlighted the program’s emphasis on inclusivity and cohesion, emphasizing its role in creating tangible improvements in the lives of citizens.

Governors Uba Sani of Kaduna and Hyacinth Alia of Benue expressed optimism about the program’s potential to restore peace and stability in their respective states. Sani announced plans to commence the program within the next two weeks, focusing on infrastructure development and support for affected communities. Alia emphasized the importance of agricultural investment in curbing insecurity and providing stability for displaced populations.

Chaired by Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ahmed Dangiwa, the committee overseeing the Pulaku Initiative comprises representatives from relevant government agencies and private sector entities, reflecting a collaborative effort to address Nigeria’s persistent security challenges.

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