By Ibrahima Yakubu, Kaduna, North central Nigeria.
A one day conference on crop and livestock farmers on dialogue for peace in Nigeria took place in Kaduna, noted with dismay that government has failed short of expectations in its efforts in addressing farmers/herdsmen crisis in the country.
The conference sponsored by King Abdulah Bin Abdullazeez International Centre for Inter – religious and cultural Dialogue in collaboration with Interfaith Mediation Forum for Peace 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 Conference had stakeholders drawn from MACBAN, AFAN, JNI, CAN, WIC, traditional rulers also noted that trivial issues that could be amicably resolved have assume ethnic or religious colouration thereby undermining the unity of the country.
The communique was signed by Amina Kazaure (Women Interfaith Council), Ruth Joshua Magaji (CAN Women Wing – Kaduna State), Haruna Usman (MACBAN Chairman – Kaduna State Branch), Usman Ibrahim Michika (AFAN Chairman – Adamawa State Chapter) and Charles U. Ndukwe (Interfaith Mediation Centre – Kaduna).
Others are Imam Dr. Nurayn Mohammed Ashafa (Interfaith Mediation Centre), Mohammed Yusuf Ahmed (AFAN Kaduna State) and Engr. Saleh Alhassan (Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore) observed that government nerds to involve all major stakeholders and invest where it wants to invest or engage public – 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.
Members advised that drivers of conflict should be identified and prosecuted.
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 Summersault 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.”
It enjoined government to have an incentive. The government should have an incentive for the livestock farmers like they do for their crop counterparts such as the anchor borrower program.
Participants noted that 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 explained that capacity building for crop and livestock farmers along the line of agricultural value chainwhile urging all the three tiers of government, traditional and religious institutions, community based organizations should join hands in fighting the menace.
The participants urged the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps should regulate the activities of the vigilante groups.
The meeting observed that the criminal justice should be quick in the dispensation of justiceand enjoined government to address poverty and youth unemployment