FG sets up technical committee to tackle herdsmen/farmers conflicts

The Federal Government has set up a technical committee to outline a strategy to ensure peaceful resolution of violent conflicts in the country, particularly between herdsmen and farmers, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has reported.

A statement by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution’s (IPCR) Media Assistant, Abu Michael, says that the committee is under the chairmanship of the Director-General, IPCR, Professor Oshita Oshita.

Michael, in the statement, said the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant-General  Abdulrahman Dambazzau, conveyed the approval via a letter signed by the acting permanent secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido.

He explained that the committee was to develop a suitable road map for an expanded stakeholders’ meeting.

“The committee, according to the terms of reference in the letter, is to outline a tentative strategy to deal with the conflict vis-à-vis methodology for an open stakeholders’ forum.

“It is also to situate the Niger-Benue generally and Nigeria in particular as an area of conflict between pastoralists and sedentary farmers.

“It will identify the problems underlying the conflict from regional and national perspectives.

“It will also have an overview of past investigations, including those already implemented and to highlight the successes and challenges of each.

“The committee will  also identity regional and local laws and regulations that impact the conflict,” Michael said.

He quoted Oshita as commending the minister for the appointment.

“The formation of the committee is a demonstration of the genuine commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure a more peaceful and secure country for the citizenry.

“Every Nigerian is expected to make useful contribution and support the Federal Government for general progress and better conditions of living of the citizens,” Oshita said.

The Director-General urged all citizens to embrace peace as the primary law for peaceful co-existence.

Oshita emphasised the strategic role of the media and called for a more conflict-sensitive reportage of events.

He said journalists would be carried along in the process of a peaceful Nigeria.

According to him, the IPCR had put in place a comprehensive training programme to boost peace journalism for trust-building and national reconciliation.

He said the institute was seeking the support and collaboration of state governments to build capacity of media practitioners in their respective states.