February 26, 2020

Plateau: Traditional Institution has role to play in ending farmer/herder conflict

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File: farmers

File: farmers

By Theresa Nanlong

To stem the tide of recurring violent conflicts in communities in Plateau State, the traditional institution has asked to be given free hand to effectively perform its duties in their domain.

This is because traditional and community leaders are believed to know the people residence in their domain and could synergize with relevant security agencies to weed out bad eggs among the people.

Ardo Wada Waziri gave this view while speaking in Jos on ways of consolidating the mechanisms for sustainable cooperation and transformation of the farmer/herder conflict in the State.

At the close out ceremony of project funded by the United States Embassy, Abuja and implemented by the Plateau Peace Building Agency, PPBA the Fulani leader lamented that criminality has crept into the situation and called for urgent steps to arrest and punish criminals pretending to be either herders or farmers.

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He said, “Traditional rulers are not given free hand to perform their duties effectively, they know who is who in the community, synergy is needed for security issues to be solved.

“Kidnapping and other crimes have become problems, information sharing among communities are needed for intelligence gathering, we all need to continue to promote peace in our communities.”

Also, Chinge Dodo, the President, Irigwe Development Association, whose tribe has suffered much due to violent conflicts noted that issues of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs should not be swept under the carpet but properly addressed as justice is part of peace process.

His words, “We are concerned about issues of resettlement of IDPs because it is as if the Irigwes have been forgotten. There are kidnappings in Bassa, ransom are being paid, ambushes are ongoing but we need to improve on interpersonal relationship and share intelligence.

“We need not discard rumors but look into them because rumours in the past have turned out to be true, as a people, we will continue to work to have peace.”

However, Emma Ado from the Operation Safe Haven keeping the peace in the State urged the people to eschew violence and embrace peace stressing, “If anyone wants peace in Plateau, it is the security, right now, I’m mourning the death of my men who were killed at Exland, Barkin Ladi without any provocation.”

Earlier, the Director-General of PPBA, Joseph Lengmang stated that the project was executed in conjunction with the community people and the idea is “to foster mutual understanding and cooperation among communities so that issues of farmers/herders conflicts could be solved.”

The DG who noted that, “Strategic engagements were adopted to talk about these issues with the view to understanding one another and agreeing to live in peace” also added that, “There are many unresolved issues but there is no need to engage in violence.”