Stakeholders call for collaboration to address herders/farmers’ conflict

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STAKEHOLDERS in peace-building relations have called for effective collaboration among relevant sectors to address Herders/Farmers conflict in the country.

They expressed this view at a two-day conference held on Wednesday in Abuja to address Farmers/Herders conflict in the Lake Chad and Western Sahel.

According to them, stakeholders should do all within their powers to avoid politicising the problem.

Prof. Isaac Albert, Dean, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Ibadan said that herdsmen had issues and deserved to be listened to sincerely.

He said, however, scholars should advise scientifically and help take politics out of the conflict and proffer solutions.

Albert said that if the current trend of exploiting their sorry situations continues, the Fulani could start taking lessons from terrorists groups.

According to him, Fulani herdsmen are not interested in trouble making but economic survival.

He discouraged Nigerian Fulani from drifting towards associating with terrorist organisations as witnessed elsewhere.

Dr Bakut Bakut, Director-General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), called on Nigerian to promote peaceful co-existence among herders and farmers.

Bakut explained that herders’ migration to other places could be due to dryness of the Lake Chad water.

“About 90 per cent of the water of the Lake Chad has dried and that was causing a lot of problem among the beneficiaries of Lake Chad water like Cameroon, Niger Chad and Nigeria.

“Before the dryness of Lake Chad, all these people were enjoying their profession by way of farming and fishing among others.

“But now with the dryness of the water in the Lake Chad, there is pressure on the land, the herders had to take their cattle to another place to graze.

“So, climate change is one of the major factors to the herders/farmers conflict. It is very important to take the climate change very seriously.

“Because if we don’t manage it well, we are definitely creating greater problem for ourselves,’’ he said.

Similarly, Dr Takwa Zebulon, Peace and Development Advisor to the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, said that the violence between farmers/herders was an age old phenomenon and it has been linked to destruction of crops by animals and others.

“However, it has never been this deadly as witnessed in the last few years.

“It is believed that the cause may be as old as the problems but they have been compounded by other development such as climate change, population growth among others,” he added.

Zebulon also said that the Lake Chad and Sahel Sahara were classical example of how climate change over the years had affected the environment with its consequences and development of coping mechanisms.

NAN

– Sept. 19, 2019 @ 08: 44 GMT |

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