Herders-farmers’ clashes often blown out of context, says Plateau gov-elect
Vows to deploy local hunters, vigilante to curb insecurity
Plateau State governor-elect, Caleb Mutfwang, has described the clashes between farmers and herdsmen as one aspect of the conflicts in the state, which sometimes gets blown out of context for different reasons.
Mutfwang, however, promised to incorporate local hunters and vigilante groups into the peace and security architecture of the state. He stated these during a farewell visit to the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, by a team of peace advocates led by the President/Chief Executive Officer of the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation Revd. (Dr.) Gideon Para-Mallam.
At the parley, the parties reflected on partnership to support holistic peace building initiatives and reconciliation in the country.
The governor-elect’s entourage included Professor of Gender Studies and Director of Studies, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos, Funmi Para-Mallam; Senator-elect, Simon Mwadkwon and Director of Research, Planning and Strategy in Christian Association of Nigeria, Mike Akpami.
Earlier, president of the Faith-Based Organisation (FBO) had highlighted a number of grassroots peace interventions across the country as a result of the partnership between the Foundation and the British High Commission (BHC), since July 2019.
Catriona expressed BHC’s delight in receiving some of the reports in terms of impact by various community stakeholders in some states. She added that the delegation’s farewell visit to her suggested hope for stronger peace building initiatives and reconciliation in Plateau and the country.
Mutfwang said his administration would ensure that people take ownership of the security processes or architecture. He stated: “The relationship between herders and indigenes is one aspect of the crisis of the Plateau that is sometimes gets blown out of context for different reasons. I believe that the people of Plateau have lived well in times past and we will ensure that this historical reality will continue.
“Henceforth, we are going to make sure that the people take ownership of the security processes or architecture by making sure that from the grassroots, we built structures for peace, right from the grassroots between communities, and make sure that they themselves begin to trust themselves, and, gradually, all the potential areas of conflict will be eliminated.”
According to him, victory in the governorship election is a victory for Plateau people who performed credibly.
“These Plateau people did wonders; they voted and defended their votes. That is why we are here today. With God on our side, we will be victorious. Plateau people, I believe, are peace-loving. I know that people have taken advantage of these volatile moments in the past.
“But I can see people that are ready to have a change of the narrative. I can see people saying enough is enough, and therefore leveraging on that, we are going to build bonds of unity.”