By; DEKERA NICHOLAS, Kaduna
Critical stakeholders in livestock and crops farmers business have identified 17 points as ways to end the lingering crises between two contending occupations.
This was contained in communique issued at the end of one day Conference on dialogue for Peace in Nigeria held at the weekend, in Kaduna State.
Communique jointly signed by 8 representatives of Muslim and Christian stakeholders, stated that “The One day Conference on crop and livestock farmer’s stakeholders were drawn from MACBAN, AFAN, JNI, CAN, WIC, Traditional Rulers, across Northern States.
Organized by the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, IDFP, and supported by KAICIID International Dialogue Centre, the Conference noted with concern that the inclusiveness and peaceful coexistence enjoyed by all in years past have been eroded and replaced with mistrust, suspicion and hatred of the other.
It also noted that “Trivial issues that could be amicably resolved quickly assume ethnic or religious colouration which has undermined our unity. The crop and livestock farmers’ crisis is just one out of the many crises bedeviling our country and threatening our unity.
“The Conference acknowledged the efforts of the government in addressing the crisis, though, it have fallen short of expectations.
“The Conference of the Crop and Livestock Farmers, after various paper presentations and deliberations, came up with17 point’s communiqué on how the lingering crop and livestock farmers’ crisis could be resolved”, is stated.
In the communique, the participants stated that, the government needs to involve all major stakeholders and invest where it wants to invest or engage public-private partnership.
Secondly, “The three-tiers of government should come up with articulate guidelines on how to address the issues at the communities, identify drivers of conflict and prosecuted them.
“Professionals in conflict management should be engaged to revive community relations to unite us (farmers), harness internal and external collaboration to find sustainable solution to the crisis.
“Government should avoid policy summersault and come up with a deliberate and workable policy to address the crisis, the regional and urban planning laws should be deliberately designed to encourage intra and inter ethno-religious habitation”, it stressed.
Communique added that effort should be made to recover existing grazing reserves, trans-human stock routes, resting points and watering facilities for livestock farmers, livestock and Crops Farmers Commission should be established.
It continue that government should have an incentive for the livestock farmers like they do for their crop counterparts such as the anchor borrower program, Security agencies should be more thorough and unbiased in investigating the root causes of the crisis.
The problem of proliferation of Small and light weapons, illegal security uniforms, hard drugs and influx of aliens should be effectively monitored, accordingly, while Capacity building for crop and livestock farmers along the line of agricultural value chain, advocated.
“All the three tiers of government, traditional and religious institutions, community based organizations; civil society organizations should join hands in fighting the menace, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps should regulate the activities of the Vigilante Groups.
“The criminal justice system should be quick in the dispensation of justice, and government should address poverty and youth unemployment”, challenges facing the country.