By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
The Pastoral Resolve (PARE) a NGO devoted to nurturing the rural people aspirations has urged state governments in the North West to collaborate with Niger Republic to rid the region of the marauders.
The organization made the call at a one-day workshop on conflict sensitivity communication to support peace building in Zamfara State.
Participants at the workshop who are mainly media practitioners and local government council information officers said partnering with Niger Republic will play a significant role in the fight as the criminals will not have safe haven in the North West nor Niger Republic.
PARE Zamfara State Coordinator, Alhaji Umar Muhammad Maradun said the organization felt greatly disturbed by the ugly scenario in the state and other North West states.
Maradun reiterated the determination of PARE to provide support to the North West government to rid the region of bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers through viable suggestions.
In his presentation, a media expert, Idris Muhammad lamented that records shows that over the last decade 8,000 people mainly from Zamfara State were killed and over 200,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and about 80,000 have fled into Niger republic while over 13,000 hectares of farm lands destroyed or inaccessible.
He added research records shows that between 2011 and 2019 in Zamfara State alone, about 141,360 cattle and 215,241 sheep were rustled while more than 10,000 homes, shops, silos were destroyed.
Muhammad called on the state governments to take precautionary measures to save the region from heading towards famine and starvation as over 80% of the population depends agriculture..
“Considering the depth of the grievances created over the years, state governments not only in Zamfara but other north west, should commit to longer reconciliation and peace building between the victims and perpetrators while sustaining dialogue and other peace efforts between pastoralists and farmers,” he advised.
He also called on the federal government to ensure better policing as there are a lot of ungoverned spaces in the region.
“The federal government should quickly address some of the concerns raised in the National Livestock Transformation Plan 2019 as the plan lays put strategies that could curb banditry,” he said.