Farmers-herders clashes caused by blockage of grazing routes - Abubakar

Farmers-herders clashes caused by blockage of grazing routes - Abubakar

- A herder in Adamawa says grazing areas in the state and beyond have been taken over by farmers

- Alhaji Abdul-mumuni Abubakar, said the bloackage is one of the reasons for the frequent farmers-herders clashes

- He, however, noted that the clashes in the state have reduced to the barest minimum due to the intervention of development agencies

A herder and Fulani leader in Adamawa, Alhaji Abdul-mumuni Abubakar, has stated that the frequent farmers-herders clashes in the state, is due to the blockage of grazing routes.

Abubakar made the comment at the International Day for Peace 2019 Dialogue organised by the Peace and Security Network, Nigeria on Saturday, September 21.

According to him, grazing areas in the state and beyond have been taken over by farmers.

His words: “From the civilian government in Nigeria, we had grazing routes. We have international, state and local grazing routes.

“But, now, they have been taken over by farmers and this is what is causing the clashes.

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“If a herder passes nearby a farm with his cattle. The farmer will raise an alarm that his crops have been destroyed.”

He, however, noted that the clashes in the state have reduced to the barest minimum due to the intervention of development agencies like International Alert, British Council, and Peace and Security Network.

Abubakar also called on the federal government to allow the Fulani herders to restart one of their key cultural festivals known as Soror, which he said was banned by the government.

He said the festival can be modernised, noting that through the cultural event, herders will be encouraged to embrace peace.

He also highlighted the challenges of education faced by herders, revealing that in the past, they used to have mobile schools, but it was no more in place.

He called for more interactions between the farmers and the herders, saying it will help them understand their responsibilities and boost peace measures.

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Speaking earlier, the country manager of International Alert, Cindy Chungong, stated that the theme of the 2019 International Day of Peace, Climate Action for Peace was ''timely.''

Her words: “The threat is real. I don't need to cite scientific data on greenhouse gases and carbon emissions for us to know that negative environmental changes are happening and affecting our daily lives.

“Farmers across Nigeria can tell you about failed harvests due to increased drought, flooding or irregular rains; fishermen and women will tell you how their stocks have drastically depleted and they can scarcely make a living from what they catch.

“Herders will tell you how their usual water points have dried up and they are forced to move greater and greater distances to keep their flocks alive; people living in cities can tell you about the countless respiratory diseases they are fighting from urban pollution.

“Nobody is immune from the threat. Climate change and the ensuing environmental disasters do not respect national boundaries. They do not care what religion or ethnic group you belong to. They do not care how much money you have in your savings account.

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“The purpose of today's dialogue is to draw attention to the urgent task at hand and debate on ways for us as a society to make meaningful change to reverse the negative course of climate change, help communities build resilience, and in so doing build a peaceful and sustainable future for us all.”

There were also goodwill messages from Helios Ellien from the French Embassy and Alice Gore from DFID Nigeria.

The highlight of the event was the panel discussion by Civil Society stakeholders in Benue and Adamawa on their peace initiatives in both states.

Meanwhile, the federal government has challenged the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to develop DNA replication and encoding laboratories to help in the detection and prosecution of criminals in the country.

The minister of state, science and technology, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the 2019 National Identity Day organised by NIMC on Monday, September 16.

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He stressed the need for NIMC to look into the possibility of strategic partnerships with other government agencies to ensure new innovations are introduced to help in combating crime in the country.

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