By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
Conference of Dialogue for Peace in Nigeria for Crop and Livestock Farmers have noted with dismay the failure of State and Federal Government’s effort in addressing farmers and herdsmen crisis in the country.
The conference sponsored by King Abdulah Bin Abdullazeez International Centre for Inter-Religious and Cultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in collaboration with Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) noted with concern that the inclusiveness and peaceful coexistence enjoyed by all in years past have been eroded and replaced with mistrust, suspicion and hate of the other.
The one-day Mini-Conference made this known in a communique issued at the end of its meeting on Saturday, 22nd of December, 2018 at Lesham Continental Hotel Barnawa, Kaduna State, North-West, Nigeria which had stakeholders drawn from MACBAN, AFAN, JNI, CAN, WIC and Traditional Rulers.
The Communique which noted that trivial issues that could have been amicably resolved have assume ethnic or religious coloration thereby undermining the unity of the country and observed that government needs to involve all major stakeholders and invest where it wants to invest or engage public and private partnership.
The conference noted that the three tiers of government should come up with articulate guidelines on how to address the issues at the communities as the members advised that drivers of conflict should be identified and prosecuted.
The members also advised that professionals in conflict management should be engaged to revive community relations for unity.
“The conference said, “We should harness internal and external collaboration to find sustainable solution to the crisis.
“Government should avoid policy Somersault and come up with a deliberate and workable policy to address the crisis.
“The regional and urban planning laws should be deliberately designed to encourage intra and inter ethno-religious habitation.
“Effort should be made to recover existing grazing reserves, trans – human stock routes, resting points and watering facilities for livestock farmers.
“Livestock and Crops Farmers Commission should be established” the communique stressed.
It enjoined government to have an incentive for the livestock farmers like they do for their crop counterparts such as the anchor borrower program while the security agencies should be more thorough and unbiased in investigating the root causes of the crisis.
They observed that the problem of proliferation of small and light weapons, illegal security uniforms, hard drugs and influx of aliens should be effectively monitored.
It suggested capacity building for crop and livestock farmers along the line of agricultural value chain while urging all the three tiers of government, traditional and religious institutions, and community based organizations should join hands in fighting the menace.
The meeting observed that the criminal justice should be quick in the dispensation of justice and enjoined government to address poverty and youth unemployment.