CEPEJ, PIND holds roundtable talk on Herders-Farmers Conflict Mitigation for Ethiope East /Ndokwa East LGA’s
|Participants present at the event including Ambassador Chief Sheriff Mulade and Ambassador Prince Ebilade|
Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) and Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta (PIND) has held a joint stakeholders herders-farmers conflicts mitigation in Ethiope East and Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
The roundtable dialogue was held on Thursday March 30, 2023 at Gares Hotel, Ughelli, Delta State.
The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Chief Comrade Sheriff Mulade, stated that the importance of the meeting can not be over emphasized due to the implications of herders-farmers in Nigeria, particularly in Delta State.
Chief Mulade said that the major goal of the programme is to create an enabling environment for both parties to work together in peace.
"This peace that we have been able to achieve, we need it to continue. We will call for monitoring and evaluation of this programme and I urge all stakeholders present here today to continue to deepen the peace between the herders-farmers in their Communities.
“As peace actors and having been able to identify the critical challenges, we will continue to proffer solutions in-line with government policies,” he averred.
Chief Mulade thanked their financial donor, PIND Foundation for playing a major role towards the success of the programme.
Giving his lecture on the theme, “Mitigating herders-farmers conflicts management for sustainable peace and development” Head of Department of State Service, Ndokwa East LGA, Mr. Elisha Israel said that it is necessary to differentiate between herders who are Fulanis and bandits, stating that Fulanis should not be seen as threats to the society.
Mr. Isreal who attributed perception, lack of communication, cattle rustlers and political instability as major factors of herders-farmers conflict, urged the public to change their mindset towards the herders.
While stating that the different policies put in place by the Federal and State Governments to curb the conflicts, have not yielded the desired results due to lack of implementation, noted that dialogue, sincerity of unity of mind and purpose would spur a lasting solution to herders-farmers conflicts.
Ambassador Prince Ebilade in his good will message to the people, said that for peace to be attained, it requires the collective efforts of all parties involved.
"There are lot of issues that can trigger conflicts and one of them is communication. We appeal to all parties involved to embrace peace at all times, as this programme is very important to PIND Foundation," he opined.
Delta State Coordinator for Partners for Peace(P4P), Jennifer Okotie in her good will message, averred: "The work of P4P is peace building. As peace actors, we enjoin all parties to live in peace and harmony."
She further used the opportunity to inaugurate the Ndokwa East LGA and Ethiope East LGA sub-chapters of P4P.
Other resource persons who also gave a talk on the way forward include; Mrs. Chibogu Josephine, Head of Department and Community Development. Ndokwa East LGA, Mrs, Sarah Jonny and Sir Ben U, Coordinator of National Orientation Agency, Ndokwa East LGA.
Highpoint of the event was the question and answer session from stakeholders of both Local Government Areas as well as the signing of a communique reached by all participants present at the event which states as follows:
1 As community continues to struggle with the problems of herders-farmers due to the persistence of threats, risks and vulnerabilities, it is very important to involve the non-state actors in the security and protection of communities against insurgency and criminality.
2 There should be a synergy between security agencies and community leaders/farmers/herders in the provision of sustainable security and peace through information sharing. The information can be analysed and processed into intelligence thatwill aid the Police, Military and other security agencies.
3 There should be continuous orientation and awareness engagements with farmers and herders towards sustainable development and peaceful coexistence among herders and farmers.
4 There should be advocacy for ranching as against nomadic pastoralism to curb herders-farmers conflicts.
5 A herders-farmers conflict management committee should be established in all local government areas with sub-units at various community levels.
6 Community leaders, farmers and herders should embrace non-violence approach and adopt stakeholders’ dialogue in resolving conflicts within and outside the community.
7 The land boundary dispute between Ikpen community in Edo State and Urhuoka-Abraka community in Delta State, should be resolved by both States boundary adjustment committees so that both communities will know their boundaries. This will stop herders from making dangerous moves to perpetrate evils such as rape and killing of women and men.
8 There should be concrete agreements between community leaderships and herders in term of grazing.
9 Night grazing should be discourage and avoided totally.
10 The Delta State Law against open grazing should be implemented, while anyone caught in the act of open grazing should be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
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