Matters Arising on Farmers Pastoralist Conflict in Nigeria

It is worrisome that pastoral farmers conflict has taking a new dimension in Nigeria, farmers pastoralist conflict has been in Nigeria if not older than the country. What is different from the past is the consistent nature of the conflict across the country.

The government of the first republic, under Sir. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa the then Prime Minister, shortly after independence from colonial rule identified grazing routes across the country for pastoralist to graze on, and also as a gateway for their movement.

These routes have long been overtaken by structural development due to population and cities springing up, this has constrained the pastoralists movement hence they have to look for other routes themselves hence the remote cause of the crisis.

Governments especially at the States level have not in anyway implemented recommendations of findings from different commission of enquiries in the past which if adhered to, will help in reducing or stop the conflicts from occurring in the first place.

In modern times there should be an alternative to the grazing routes that was set up by Balewa Government over 50 years ago, the NASS should also come up with a law that will be binding on states governments to, as a matter of urgency create alternative grazing routes for pastoralists across the country.

There should be a forum where farmers and pastoralist can converge to discuss common issues that affect them, this can be facilitated by the LGAs in the states.

There should also be early warning system both at the local, state and federal level, needless to mention at this juncture, that if we do not find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis, Nigeria may witness significant shortfall on staple food supply. The reasons are not far fetched;

1. Virtually all the crisis prone areas fall within the food basket of the nation ie Nassarawa, Benue,Plateau, Kogi, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi.

2. The activities of insurgents in the North east states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa is also affecting farming activities.

3. Those who are involved in the fight are the youths who happens to be the farmers in their respective communities, this simply means that there will be lost of significant man power in the already not too good and productive agricultural sector in Nigeria.

Food insecurity and hike in food price is inevitable even as we speak. May this bloodshed stop, may peace reign in our country Nigeria. My views – Peter Michael Egwudah.

…towards a poverty-free Nigeria


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