Many people in the Nigeria believe that the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, which has occurred mostly in the north central region of Nigeria goes beyond a fight for grazing lands.

They argue that the clashes are consequences of ethnic and religious rivalries between the Muslim Fulanis and Christian farmers.

But on Monday, during his broadcast to mark the 58 anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, President Muhammadu Buhari said the only plausible explanation to the farmers-herders clash is climate change.

You can READ FULL TEXT of Buhari’s 58th Independence Day Address Here

He said: “We are one of the countries in the world most affected by environmental degradation, as a consequence of climate change. We are signatories to almost all conventions and agreements aimed at slowing down the effect of climate change and mitigating its now evident consequences.

“The consequences on lives and livelihoods of the shrinking of the Lake Chad and the pollution caused by oil exploitation activities alone make it mandatory on us to be at the forefront of the struggle for a safer and more sustainable environment. We will continue to mobilise international support for our efforts in this regard”.

Speaking further, he noted that “the age-long conflict between herders and farmers that was being exploited by those seeking to plant the seeds of discord and disunity amongst our people, is being addressed decisively.

“We will sustain and continue to support the commendable efforts by all including civil society organisations, local and states governments and our traditional and religious leaders in finding durable solution to this problem.”

He added: “This being a transhumance issue, we are working with countries in our region that are also facing similar difficulties to complement our common efforts. In this context I must warn that the perpetrators of murder and general mayhem in the name of defending or protecting herders or farmers will face the full wrath of the law.  Meanwhile, we urge all peace-loving Nigerians to reject any simplistic portrayal, at home or abroad, of this conflict as either religious or ethnic based.''