Farmers/ herders conflicts: Experts seek creation of “Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission”

The Emir of Kano, Muhamamdu Sanusi on Tuesday in Abuja, advocated for the creation of a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission, amongst others as panacea for addressing farmers/ herders conflicts.

This is just as they called for strengthening of security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe and to isolate the criminal elements.

At the end of a two day meeting on farmers / herders clash in Abuja, they also urged governments at both the national and sub- national levels to increased funding for the various grazing reserves across the country as a way of addressing the challenges

Sanusi said governments in each state should ensure adequate funding for the maintenance of grazing reserves and stick routes as a way of avoiding further farmers/herders clash in the country.

Sanusi who was represented by Isa Hashim, the Jarman Kano at the a two-day National Summit on Conflict Resolution organised by TVC in conjunction with the Nations newspaers in abuja said that governments at the three levels should provide enough funds for the maintenance of grazing reserves and stock routes.

Speaking further, he said “there are two types of Fulani – the bororoji (cattle Fulani) and the sororoji (town Fulani) have their differences even though outsiders think they are one stressing that there is need for harmony amongst the concerned parties”.

Andrew Hallon, the Chief Executive Officer of TV Continental, said that the key issues that ensures creation of sustainable and peaceful co-existence are continuous communication and respect for the points of view of others.

He said “ Drawing from the experiences of my home country, Ireland to set out a pathway to resolving the farmers-herders conflicts there is need for a common desire for peace, and continous communication, a business-oriented approach to seeking solutions and the unlearning of harmful stereotypes”.

Saleh Umale of the Kaduna State Peace Commission described the farmers-herders crisis as a crisis long foretold, adding that the improvement of the livelihoods of Nigeria’s rural communities is key to the search for peace.

He said “we have over the years failed to develop the national policy to sustain peace in the rural landscape and we have engaged so much on the blame game while neglecting the main challenges”.

“There have been a huge rise of criminality in the rural areas and the pastural sector also is in crisis and requires developmental solution” he added.

Recommendations reached at the summit includes the need to resuscitate and massively fund the various river basin authorities especially in the north to enable growth of grass for animal grazing to minimize nomadic mobility across the country, setting up of a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission and the need to strengthen security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe and to isolate the criminal elements.

Other recommendations includes; creation of Conflict mediation and peace building mechanisms to promote constant dialogue between farmers and herders, the need to embrace Climate Smart Agriculture that sustains both crop farming and animal breeding as well as embracing proposal for grazing reserves beginning with consenting states while the old bonds that encouraged cooperation need to be built upon.

 

Cynthia Egboboh, Abuja

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