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UK-based centre releases fresh report on herdsmen, farmers crisis across Nigeria

UK-based centre releases fresh report on herdsmen, farmers crisis across Nigeria

- A UK-based centre has released a new report on the growing crisis between herdsmen and farmers in nigeria

- The Bridge Centre said there are possibilities that the conflicts between the herders and the farmers are sponsored

- According to the centre, the United Nations Security Council need to intervene in the ongoing conflict in Nigeria

A report from a United Kingdom-based organisation has indicted some governors and the opposition party in Nigeria over fueling the crisis between herdsmen and farmers across Nigeria.

The report by the Bridge Centre said there are possibilities that chieftains of the opposition especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are supporting killers in their desperation to get at the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The report also claimed that this desperation may be the reason why many of the killings occur in communities that did not vote for PDP in the 2015 general elections.

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The centre in its report cited the case of one “Gana” of Benue state, who was reportedly linked to an ex-PDP governor who ruled between 2007 and 2015.

The report said: “Gana has been identified to be allegedly responsible for scores of deaths, including many that were initially attributed to herdsmen. Ortom is now formally back in the PDP."

Also, head of research and documentation of the Bridge Centre, Elizabeth Robertson, called on the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the ongoing conflict in Nigeria.

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The report read in part: "The world has on several occasions been appalled by the wanton killings in Nigeria from incidents attributed to clashes between herdsmen and farmers. Attacks upon attacks in affected communities have been blamed on “killer” herdsmen, who in such instances prove elusive as not much would be heard about the daring killer squads that carry out such crimes against humanity

The situation has triggered a cycle of blame game within Nigeria, with the consequence that the persons behind these killings, at least responsible in part, are successfully evading justice.

Findings show that there is a need to investigate some of these persons who may have links with the PDP, which has its could have its imprint on the farmers/herdsmen crisis as the then ruling party and more recently as the country’s leading opposition party.

Transhumance is a phenomenon that is not peculiar to Nigeria. It has been worsened by climate change, urban sprawl, changing cultures and economic pressure."

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It also noted that it is important that the federal government begins investigation into the killing, murder, robbery cases of in Plateau, Taraba, Kogi and Kwara states must by quizzing all PDP ex-governors and lawmakers including those who currently defected from the ruling party.

“Some political leaders of the PDP have in the period since the party was voted out of the Federal Government engaged in the formation of militias, which they armed with weapons prohibited under several international protocols.

“These weapons have been deployed in commission crimes against humanity as they resulted in mass killings.

“Taking cognisance of the continued desecration of the sanctity of human life, the United Nations Security Council is invited to order a full investigation into the role that politicians, especially the PDP, are playing in the killings attributed to farmers/herders’ crisis.

“Arising from the findings of the full investigation, it should take the steps necessary to deter the kind of disregard for human lives as it is presently the trend.

“Time is of essence for whatever intervention the council has to make since it is important that Nigerians are reassured ahead of the general elections," the report added.

Meanwhile, previously reported that herdsmen and farmers in Mashegu local government area of Niger state signed a peace agreement.

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The agreement was aimed ending the clashes between the two groups in the area.

Abdullahi Babayo, the director-general of nomadic affairs agency in the state said the aim of the meeting was to reconcile communities that were affected by farmers/herdsmen crisis in the area.

He said the meeting was attended by chairman, Mashegu local government, Bala Sai’du, Ardo Adamu, the chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Niger, Fulani herdsmen, farmers, district heads and community leaders from the area.

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