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Farmers and Herdsmen Conflict and Resolution

Article Compiled by UCHECHI KENNEDY and Edited by The Leaders Hub Team
Nomadic harder’s have moved across the northern Nigeria. The harder’s are Fulani who cut across the West and Central Africa, with their largest concentration in Nigeria. The Fulani can be divided into two main categories: the (semi) nomadic and transhumant pastoral lists, who raise cattle and sheep.
Farmers and Harder’s have been coexisting now. The harder’s move to the north in the raining season allow the farmers to cultivate their crops. And during dry season Harder’s come back to the south to graze their cattle’s and sheep’s of the left over from the farmer’s farm. The farmers and Harder’s coexist happily in the past. However, the loss of traditional grazing land to drought arid desertification, has force many of those pastoralists to move south into green communication in the river Basin of Benue state, plateau, Taraba state. This nomadic moving southward from west and Africa are armed. The Armed Fulani herders are very deadly. They forcefully take over farmlands, burnt houses and kill communities who refuse to allow them (harder) have access to their farmland. The increase attacks on farmer have prompt many farmers to abandon their farmland and now live on IDP’s Camps. This can be seen with a case in Benue and Plateau state Nigeria. According to Amnesty international (2018) said about 31600 people were killed firm 2016-2018 as a result of these attack.
Economy Effect of the Crisis One of the prominent effects farmer-Harder conflicts is food scarcity. The farmer in Benue, Taraba, and Plateau are killed on daily bases. These three states especially Benue is the food ‘Basket of the Nation’ and as a result of the crisis, farmer cannot go to their farmland again. In some occasion this attack occurs when the farmer are getting set to harvest their crops. Their crops are destroyed and feed to Harder Cattles and Sheeps. Nigeria is already experiencing food shortage and raise of price of food and vegetables. The crises as resulted to health challenges because of the food and vegetable shortage.
Actual problems- relating to land and water use, obstruction of traditional migration routes, life stock theft and crop damage – is what trigger these misunderstanding. But the origin is quiet deep. Drought and desertification have degraded pasture, dried up many waters sources across Nigeria’s especially in the Northern Sahelian belt has caused the migration of number herders.
Insecurity in the North east states as a result of Boko Haram and Bandit in the North East and North Central also prompt increasing numbers of herds men to migrate South. Herders migrate into Savannah and rain forest of the Central and Southern state, they move into the region where there is settlement and high population of people. The herders move from one state in search of water and pasture for their cattle.
As a result of farmer herder’s conflict that has been on neglected by authority have already resulted to fragile relations among the country. Major regional, ethnic and religious groups in the Southern region are predominately Christian communities which them feel that the conflict is a step toward islamisation of the region. people believe that the motive of these Fulani herders into the Southern part for an agenda which lead to the setting up of Eastern security network to checkmate the spread of the herder. This counter attacked have led to lost of more lives in the Southern States.
As these conflict increase, it come with it humanitarian and economic toll. More people have been displaced of their homes, properties, crops and livestock worth millions of naira destroyed at great cost to local and state economics. The Nigeria’s federal and state governments have done much to address rural insecurity in the country. The federal security and law enforcement agencies have established neither early – warning nor rapid respond mechanisms, they have not arrest nor prosecuted any of perpetrators of this crimes to redress the victims. Official have paid little or no attention to improving livestock management practices in addressing livestock entering to community farm land. More also, community dialogue have not been properly addressed by respective state government.
Resolution
The federal and state government should take a firm steps in providing protection for herders and farmers. Affected states should find a way in reducing risk of the violence. Farmer and herders should be called by local authority for a dialogue.
Open grazing should be discourage in totality and ranching should be encourage like what is been done in the developed world. The security personnel show to be up and doing to address this conflict, before they occur by gathering enough intelligent using modern intelligent gather mechanism. Most importantly religion coloration most be discouraged. The conflict should not like Christian and Muslim conflict, but seen as a national issue. Our politician should not use these conflicts as a medium of scoring political points. The Farmers Herders Conflict in Nigeria has become persistent with debilitating their consequences on human lives and their sources of livelihoods. Herdsmen farmers conflict created food insecurity distrust, and unemployment. The constantly changing nature of the conflict makes efforts at resolving it by both state and federal government inconsistent due to lack of proper and accurate analytic solutions to the conflict. Violent conflicts between nomadic herders from northern Nigeria and communities in the central and southern zones have escalate in recent years and are spreading south ward threatening the country’s security and stability with an estimated death toll of approximately 2,500 people in 2016, these clashes are becoming as potentially dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east especially. Yet to date response to the crisis at both the federal and state levels has been very poor. In order to tackle the Farmers/Herders Conflict in Nigeria, the state government should designate gracing field for the nomadic herdsmen and make them pay tax. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and affected state governments need to work together taking immediate steps to resolve the problems of insecurity challenges for herders and farmers, strengthening conflict resolution mechanisms and initiating long term effort to reform lives stock management practices, address trespases in individual environmental trends and curb cross border movements of both cattle rustlers and armed herders. Polices towards the resolution will be of a great important in tackling farmer herders conflict. REFERENCES Stopping Nigerias Spirating farmers Herder Violennce 26th July 2018. Herdsmen/Farmers Conflict and its Effect on Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria. Herders against farmers: Nigeria/Expanding Deadly Conflict. September 2017. Akinkuolie Rasheed (January, 2018). Herdsmen/Farmers Clashes Problems and Solutions. M.A Popoola and Aliyu (2018). Effects of Farmers and Herders Conflict on Enterpreneurial. Kwaja, A. M. C. and Ademola- Adelehin, Bukola I. (2018), Responses to Conflict between Farmers and Herders in the Middle Belt of Rustling and Banditry in North-West Nigeria: Journal of Research and Method in Education, Volume 7, Issue 6, November – December, pp. 40 – 47.

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