Katsina Stakeholders Proffer Remedies to Herders/Farmers’ Conflicts

Francis Sardauna in Katsina 

Stakeholders in Katsina State have identified continued dialogue, forgiveness and tolerance as factors that could engender peaceful coexistence in banditry-affected communities in the state.

The stakeholders, at a State Level Conflict Prevention and Mitigation Dialogue, Monday, organised by Mercy Corps in collaboration with the state Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, said there will not be peace without dialogue and forgiveness. 

The two-day dialogue with support from International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), drew participants from Jibia, Batsari, Kankara, and Danmusa Local Government Areas, including religious, traditional and community leaders as well as farmers, women and youths.

Under its Conflict Mitigation and Community Reconciliation in Northwest Nigeria (CMCR-NW) project funded by the European Union (EU), Mercy Corps and partners seek to promote locally-driven peace initiatives through interest-based negotiations in the state.

Speaking at the event, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Prof. Ahmed Mohamed, said peace is non-negotiable hence the need for continuous dialogue, especially among the affected communities in the state.

He explained that the dialogue session enabled warring communities in the four focal local governments to present their problems and solutions for sustainable peace and development to thrive in the state.

He said issues bordering on amicable use of water, cattle routes and farmlands in the frontline local government areas of Jibia, Batsari, Kankara and Danmusa were deliberated by all participants.

Earlier, the Senior Programme Manager of Mercy Corps, Philip Ikita, said the dialogue was aimed at facilitating inclusive and responsive multi-stakeholders analysis of identified conflict spots that could affect farmers and herders during the rainy season.

He added that the two-day dialogue would identify the likely impact of violence on farming and grazing activities, and design conflict prevention and peace strategy in order to mitigate conflict during this year’s farming season in the state.

Ikita further explained that the dialogue session also focused on developing and implementing rapid conflict mitigation strategies for peace and tranquillity to be achieved in displaced farming communities of the state.

On his part, the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, said the dialogue will promote reconciliation and peaceful coexistence through peace-building as a tool to de-escalate conflict among farmers and herders in the state.

Represented by Sarkin Fulanin-Katsina, Alhaji Lawal Bagiwa, the paramount ruler urged religious and traditional leaders in the state to promote tolerance and forgiveness, and ensure justice and fairness to all residents.

At the end of the two-day dialogue, participants are expected to develop a conflict prevention strategy and action plans to address the impact of conflict on farming and grazing activities in the state.

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