Vice President’s office meets farmers, herders, others over Kaduna crisis
Office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday initiated a peace meeting with warring parties to end the lingering bloody conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in Kaduna State.
Those at the train-the-trainer workshop organised by the Vice President’s office include leaders of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), representatives of traditional rulers and community leaders.
The training programme is funded by the Open Society Initiative For West Africa (OSIWA),
Addressing the participants, Rule Advisor to the Vice President, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi said farmer-herders crisis has become one of Nigeria’s gravest security challenges in recent times, pointing out that the Federal Government has extended more energy for the resolution of the crisis.
She said: “Although the crisis has existed for decades, it worsened in 2014 resulting to many deaths. Many of us know that farmers and pastoralists have had a long history of harmonious relationship.”
Waziri-Azi, however, pointed out that peaceful coexistence has since been disrupted because of what is happening around the country.
She explained that it was against this background that the Federal Government unveiled a 10-year National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) from 2018 to 2027 as part of strategy to tackle crises in Zamfara, Kaduna, Benue, Maraba Plateau, Adamawa and Nasarawa states.
She added that government’s plan to address the conflict among the warring groups was built around several pillars, saying: “The plan is encompassing and is designed to support government at all levels.
“It addresses peace and security, transformation and national growth and there are various entry points for all stakeholders to participate.”
Waziri-Azi told the participants that as leaders, they would be equipped with necessary tools to engaging their communities in ensuring that they live in peace and harmony.
“Theconflict prevention and resolution pillar will support rebuilding relationships at the community level to promote mutual trust, confidence building and consolidation of the peace process,” she added.
Responding, Kaduna State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, M. I. Aliyu, said, “To resolve communal, farmers, herder conflicts, the state government established a Peace Commission in 2017 with Bishop Idowu Fearon as its Chairman”.
Also speaking, Commissioner of Kaduna State Peace Commission, Khadijah Hamaja, blamed polarisation of religion and ethnicity as a major factor promoting conflicts in the state.
Meanwhile, Adara indigenes in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State have said that in spite of the attacks and Killings by armed herdsmen, the State Government has not ordered the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the violence.
They lamented that no fewer than 12,480 indigenes have been displaced from their homes and now live in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps with the attendant hazards, pointing out the casualty figures has risen to 200.
In a statement issued by the children of the nine Adara leaders who are in Prison, Bege Bawa Magaji, Mercy Dio Maisamari and Godiya Sani Magaji, they said: “We are alarmed at the increasing mass slaughter unleashed by terrorists on our people in Adara communities.”