The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, has urged herdsmen to embrace the modern, systematic and technological way of rearing cattle in the country.
Mr. Ojudu gave the advice while briefing journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) on Wednesday in Lagos.
He explained that the adoption of modern techniques for rearing cows would end the recurring violent clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in some states, especially in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa.
The presidential aide urged both parties to embrace peace and find a lasting solution to the crisis.
Mr. Ojudu said: “I think we need to plan on how to embrace modern, systematic and technological way of rearing cattle in the country.
“The way out of the crisis is not even a short time solution, because the herdsmen need to be enlightened on the modern techniques, but what Nigerians think about is short term solution.
“Perhaps, Nigeria does not even have one third of cows that South Africa has, neither do we have one third of what Brazil has.
“These countries are adopting modern ways of rearing their cattles without infringing on farmlands.”
Mr. Ojudu commiserated with the Benue people over the recent attacks which led to the death of no fewer than 70 people, describing it as a very tragic incident for the country.
“Nobody, including the president can be happy for the tragic killings by the herdsmen.
“I know the president will be troubled that this ugly incident was happening in the country he so much loved.
“Mr President is a patriot per excellence and a man that is so much passionate about Nigeria and he believe that Nigeria must continue to remain one,” he said.
Mr. Ojudu, however, disclosed his intention to contest the 2018 gubernatorial poll in Ekiti.
The president aide said that he had been travelling to few countries to sell himself as one of the aspirants to the people of Ekiti in the Diaspora.
“As you all know, I am contesting for the governorship position; I have been engaging with our people in the Diaspora who are professionals and highly skilled.
“Ekiti cannot develop without bringing on board the energy of this Diasporas.
“Last year, I was in Europe and this year, I went to America. I went to about five to six cities speaking with Ekiti people in Diaspora,” he said.
Ojudu said they had promised that this time around they would bring changes to Ekiti because they were not happy with the current situation of the state.
He also said that he had no relationship with the incumbent Gov. Ayodele Fayose, stressing that he was one of the most vocal critics of the administration.
“He is not my enemy, but politically, I do not admire him as he has brought us shame in Ekiti, because an average man cannot be proud of what is happening in the state today.
“Ekiti people are very humble, intelligent and honest. We will rebuild the good image of the state.
“We will respect the elderly people, as it is disrespectful to abuse our elders. Our culture does not train us to be abusing them anytime there is an issue,” he said.
Mr. Ojudu said that the state has a huge number of young people that were still unemployed and walking on the streets, adding that his administration would focus on massive job creation.
“In 2015, Ekiti people thought Fayose was a messiah then, and they elected him, but today, salaries have not been paid for eight months and one year.
“The state gets federal allocation, bailout fund, and the state also got Paris Club Fund and we cannot see anything he has done except for the bridge he constructed that led to nowhere.
“The bridge is uncalled for and unnecessary. Even, the Nigeria Engineers have said that the project was a waste of money as it does not add any value to our people.
“One kilometre bridge over nothing is not a flyover anywhere. He said he will construct the bridge for N4.5 million, but now, he has spent over N15 million out of the state resources,” he said.
Mr. Ojudu said if he had the mandate of the people, it would be prudent for him to pay off outstanding entitlements of the pensioners and workers in the state.
According to him, my father-in-law died two weeks ago after serving as a school principal for 35 years without receiving his entitlement from the state government in the last five years.