Light Arms Proliferation Worsening Nigeria’s Farmer-Herder Conflicts — Warns IPCR

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News in brief:
- The Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, has warned about the escalating threat of light arms aggravating farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria.
– He emphasised the need to address arms proliferation for long-term peace as well as climate change and misinformation. 

The Director General (DG) of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, has sounded the alarm on the increasing threat of light arms fueling the violence plaguing farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria.

He made the remarks at the National Conference on the Management of Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria: Creating a Path to Sustainable Peace in Abuja. He highlighted the role of readily available weapons in escalating the brutality, which hinders peaceful resolutions.

Represented by Dr. Emmanuel Mamman, Ochogwu emphasised the critical need to address the issue of arms proliferation to achieve long-term peace and stability in Nigeria. He called for collaboration between national security agencies and local communities to tackle this issue effectively.

Furthermore, he observed that climate change and misinformation were also identified as major contributing factors to the escalating conflicts.

He subsequently warned against the detrimental impact of false narratives and rumors, which fuel ethnic and religious tensions, leading to further violence. The IPCR DG also emphasised the importance of promoting accurate information and cultivating a culture of understanding and tolerance among Nigerian citizens.

Additionally, Ochogwu stressed the importance of addressing underlying ethno-religious tensions in mitigating conflicts and creating a harmonious society. He advocated for building bridges between different communities as a crucial step towards achieving lasting peace.

Also, the National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) Baba Ngelzarma, represented by Adamu Toro, expressed concern about the loss of grazing land due to desertification and inadequate government intervention. He lamented that certain government policies, including fadama farming programs emphasising bush clearing, exacerbate the conflicts by pushing out stakeholders.

Ngeizarma further urged the government to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to find a sustainable solution.

Accordingly, Ambassador Magagi Ahmed, the chairman of the occasion, highlighted the urgency of resolving farmer-herder conflicts to ensure national peace and security. He expressed regret over the loss of lives and livelihoods due to these conflicts. The ambassador, therefore, urged the government to explore innovative approaches to address the root causes of the crisis.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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