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Plateau: Observe human rights in resolving farmers/herders conflict, govt actors told.

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By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

In order to ensure improved symbiotic relationship between farmers and herders for economic prosperity in Plateau State, a non-governmental organization, Search For Common Ground, SFCG has trained 40 Government actors in the State on conflict transformation and human rights to build their capacity in resolving the incessant conflicts between the two groups and harness their respective trades for economic growth.
Plateau: Observe human rights in resolving farmers/herders conflicts, govt actors told.
Plateau State, North-Central Nigeria
The organization which organized the three days training in collaboration with the Kingdom of the Netherlands said it is done under the project: “Transforming the  farmers-herders conflicts and promoting freedom of religions and beliefs in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the SFCG Country Director, Sher Nawaz tasked the participants to take advantage of the training and work towards a successful transformation of farmers/herders conflicts, create new opportunities to resolve them and make them a thing of the past.
According to him, “Peace is the presence of justice, nothing can be achieved in a structural manner if not institutionalized. This training is done so that when Search is out of here, the process can be sustained. Government actors are duty bearers to the citizens, it is your duty to ensure that the rights of the people are respected.
“While conflicts have its negative sides, there are opportunities to use them to make positive impacts in society. Begin to think of ways of transforming the negative impacts of conflicts to become a thing of the past and new opportunities created to successfully resolve farmers/herders issues and promote the symbiotic relationships they have.”
Also speaking, the Chief Veterinary Officer, Plateau State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Spak Shase-et who is also participating disclosed the determination of the State Government to end farmers/herders conflicts via the ranching policy to be implemented in the Kanam and Wase grazing reserves.
He said, “Plateau State government is committed to seeing the farmers/herders conflicts being the thing of the past. The government is working towards implementing some policies including the ranching policy, it has swung into action to see the grazing reserves in Wase and Kanam are being put to use in the pilot phase.”
However, the State Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Grace Pam, another participant attributed the recurring conflicts to lack of knowledge of basic human rights stressing, “We are enlightening Plateau people about human rights, many conflicts in the State is as a result of people not knowing their rights and not respecting the rights of others.
“If we imbibe the culture of human rights, many conflicts would not arise, we need to play our parts in our various communities to promote human rights and drive the peace process in the State.”
Participants at the event were drawn from the government ministry and agencies as well as from military and paramilitary organization

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