Nasarawa people are looking up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit on Tuesday as a panacea to herdsmen and farmers crisis in the area.
Some residents in Nasarawa state have opined that the visit will play a key role in ending clashes.
Samuel Akala, Special Adviser to Gov. Umaru Al-Makura on Youths, Students and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs), said the mere presence of Buhari and dialogue with relevant stakeholders will douse tension and pave way for peace to return between farmers and herdsmen.
“Though the visit is not because of the crisis but I think the visit will bring some lasting solutions if the president steps his feet in Nasarawa.
He is aware of what is going on and has taken several steps to mitigate the situation. So I don’t think his visit will spoil the mood.
“I and some other officials visited some Internal Displaced Persons camps in the state recently and I can tell you that during our interface with some in the camps, they told us that they are also aware of the president’s visit and remain optimistic that his visit will bring concrete solutions, ” He said.
Alhaji Abubakar Sandaji, a prominent businessman and educationist in Lafia, agreed that the president’s visit would help to resolve the crisis between farmers and herdsmen.
He added that the outcome of the visit would spill over to Benue and encourage both parties there to resolve their differences.
“At one point, exhibiting the qualities of a true leader, he may make a statement that will lean towards both parties living peacefully together.
“That alone will have a huge positive impact. But even at that, there is no any fear of apprehension in Nasarawa because everything right now is fine and calm,” He said.
Mr Boniface Ifer, President of Tiv Development Association (TIDA), Nasarawa state chapter, said the expectation of Tiv people in the state is for the President to at least address the crisis with the hope of reaching reconciling the feuding people.
“That is what we hope for. If he comes, we want him to address the issue so that once again we will experience peace. We have strong faith that he will do that. A mere statement from him will go a long way to pacify both parties,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed Hussaini, Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nasarawa state chapter, also expressed optimism that despite the fact the visit of the president is not related to the crisis, he will proffer solutions to end the crisis.
“President Buhari is a peace loving person. So even though he is here to commission projects, we have no doubt he would make an effort to see that both herders and farmers resolve their differences.
Buhari is an ambassador of peace,” he said.