Stakeholders have noted with dismay how the federal and state governments have fallen short of expectations in its efforts at addressing farmers/herdsmen crisis in the country.
Speaking at a one-day conference on Crop and Livestock Farmers Dialogue for Peace in Nigeria, in Kaduna on Sunday, the stakeholders lamented that trivial issues that could be amicably resolved have assumed ethnic or religious coloration thereby undermining the unity of the country.
According to them, 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 stakeholders noted that the three tiers of government should come up with articulate guidelines on how to address the issues at the communities.
While calling on the need for drivers of conflict to be identified and prosecuted, the stakeholders also advised that professionals in conflict management should be engaged to revive community relations for unity.
“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.
“Efforts should be made to recover existing grazing reserves, trans – human stock routes, resting points and watering facilities for livestock farmers,” they urged.
The stakeholders advised that “Livestock and Crops Farmers Commission should be established.”
It enjoined government to 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 chain while urging all the three tiers of government, traditional and religious institutions, and community based organizations to join hands in fighting the menace.
The participants urged the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to regulate the activities of the vigilante groups.
The meeting also observed that the criminal justice should be quick in the dispensation of justice and enjoined government to address poverty and youth unemployment.
the Conference, organised by the King Abdulah Bin Abdullazeez International Centre for Inter-religious and cultural Dialogue, in collaboration with Interfaith Mediation Forum for Peace, had stakeholders drawn from Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Jama’atul Nasril Islam, JNI, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and Women Interfaith Council, WIC, traditional leaders and many other non-governmental organisations.
The communiqué issued at the end of the conference 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.