The increasing clashes between farmers and pastoralests have recently become worrisome, especially in wetland areas of the Middle Belt, North Central Nigeria.
The ongoing conflict between farmers and cattle herders is costing Nigeria at least $16 billion in potential revenues annually.
Violent conflicts between nomadic herders from northern Nigeria and sedentary agrarian communities in the central and southern zones have escalated in recent times and are spreading southward, threatening the country’s security and stability.
We must hold people to account and that’s why we are here. I will go round and see for myself.
At least a dozen people were killed last weekend in apparent clashes between farmers and cattle herders in the North central part of Nigeria, police said.
The country’s vice president yemi osinbajo while visiting the area recently said government must find the solution as they cannot just be here and people are dying and killing each other adding that those who killed Must be held to account.
“We must hold people to account and that’s why we are here. I will go round and see for myself ,but the most important thing to all of us,is that there must be peace;we must ensure that there is peace.’’
Farmers have accused the Fulani herdsmen of failing to control their cattle and of damaging crops. In turn, the Fulani accuse farmers of stealing their cattle.
With an estimated death toll of approximately 2,000 to 3000 between 2016 to date, the clashes are becoming as potentially dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east. Yet till date, responses to the crisis both at the federal and state levels has been poor.
Similarly, Familiar problems relating to land and water use, obstruction of traditional migration routes, livestock, theft and crop damage tend to trigger more disputes.
Today everyone in the whole have seen what has happened to Fulani herdsmen in Adamawa;it has happened before in Taraba state; and it has have been happening in other states.We are law abiding citizens ,we still maintain law and order.Even now that you are interviewing me they are burning their houses in the bush,” said farmer, Mafindi Umaru Danburam.
Understanding farmers-herdsmen conflict could be the way forward and to prevent the crisis from escalating, they argue that the government should strengthen security.
They need to sit down to solve out this problem.Both of them plays a vital role under food security and food change.But if there is conflict,it will affect their productions capacity;it will affect the cantles production;it will also affect the production of the farmer and generally it will affect food security in Nigeria,” said another farmer Yakubu Musa Uba.
Some farmers advocate for a need for both parties to sit down and resolve their differences, adding that both plays a vital role in food security and food change in the country.
According to Africanews Correspondent in Yola, Nigeria, Ibrahim Abdul’ Aziz it’s now left for the Nigerian government to wake up from its great slumber to address this problem of incessant conflicts and if not, it may take time for the country to recover its lost glory, particularly at this moment that the country is facing challenges from Boko Haram !