Mr Muhammadu Buhari has blamed Nigeria’s ongoing disagreement between the herdsmen and farmers on Muammar Gaddafi, who died in 2011.
The hunt for access and control over lands which roaming herdsmen graze their cattle has led to conflict with local farmers all over the country, resulting in the death of hundreds just this year alone with herders credited with a majority of the attacks.
According to Buhari, the disagreement escalated due to Gaddafi’s army who escaped into Nigeria and started causing problems to local populations with their weapons.
The president also made his remarks in response to Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, during a meeting between the two at the Abuja House in London on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
He said, “The problem (herders/farmers conflict) is even older than us. It has always been there but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region.
“These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram.
“Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons. The problem is not religious, but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions.”
Buhari said Gaddafi has immensely contributed to Boko-Haram problem for some of the menaces of the terrorist group. While he was speaking to the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in November 2017.
The president said, “After 43 years of Gaddafi where he recruited so many people from the Sahel including Nigeria and so on, all they learnt was how to shoot and kill. They didn’t learn to become electricians, plumbers or any other trade. So, when the Libyans stood against their leader those who are not their people, they chased them out.
“A lot of them came back home with their workers, some of them participated in Boko Haram and become part of Boko Haram.”
The president promised that his administration, in its bid to properly secure the country, will do its best to rehabilitate Nigerians who are coming back from Libya and make sure they’re not indoctrinated.