Bororo/Fulani Herdsmen, Farmers Agree On Peace

By Francis Ezediuno

Th Fulani herdsmen and Yoruba farmers in the State of Osun have resolved on modalities to maintain peace and order in the state.

The parties agreed when the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command held a stakeholders sensitization programme to create awareness on the activities of herdsmen who might transverse the length and breadth of the State in search of water and fodders for their animals as the dry season approaches thereby destroying farmland along their path.

The State Commandant of the corp; Mr. Aboluwoye Akinwande while welcoming stakeholders thanked them for past successes recorded and their willingness to cooperate with the Agro-Ranger Unit of the Corps by making information available to the Unit as and when due.

He noted that this approach would help in no small measures in nipping in the bud any crisis between the farmers and herdsmen in the State.

The Commandant appealed to the participants to be peace loving and ensure that their co-existence is to foster strength and unity among the various ethnic groups.

The head of the Unit, Assistant Commandant Yaqee R.O. urged stakeholders to embrace peaceful dialogue in resolving disagreements instead of resulting to violence.

According to him, “neither party can live in isolation. There is need for each ethnic group to co-habit peacefully in other to achieved progress in any community even the country as a whole”.

The Assistant Commandant revealed that over thirty five cases had been resolved since the establishment of the Unit while several of such issues have been nipped in the bud.

He commended the Osun State Government for setting up the Peace Committee and the efforts of Alhaji Mudashiru Togun, the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties, in making sure issues are resolved peacefully.

“The stakeholder meeting was to seek cooperation among the participants, prove ways of tackling the menace of farmers/herdsmen crisis even as we approach the dry season”, he added.

He called on all groups and associations to be vigilant and give urgent and useful information to the Corps and promised absolute assistance in ensuring peaceful coexistence.

Meanwhile, the farmers have said that it was not the resident Fulanis that are usually the problem but the nomads usually known as Bororo.

According to them, “ most of them are involved in cattle rustling and pilfering activities”.

Notable cases in the State were mentioned which for instance included cattle which were made to graze cashew plantation, eat up the nuts and later pass out the nuts when they are back to their pen. The Fulani then select the nut, wash and sold same.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria through their representative commended the NSCDC for performing their mandate responsibly and dutifully.

He also applauded the effort of the Corps in ensuring peace among the stakeholders.

Both parties enumerated some cogent points to maintain peace and order.

Achieving Sustainable Peace and Security In Africa By Olusola Adeyoose

In the 2017 Global Peace Index, the Institute for Economics and Peace reported deterioration in peace in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest deteriorations occurring in Ethiopia, Burundi, Mali, Libya and Lesotho. Six of the reported ten least peaceful countries in the world – Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Central African Republic, and Libya are equally from Africa. Despite reduction in the number of external aggressions, Africa continues to suffer from internal conflicts in the form of – ethnic tensions, electoral crises and terrorism.

Although it is impossible to quantify the human tragedy that results from violence, the widespread insecurity in the region has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and resources, hence the need to create a new paradigm of sustainable peace and security in the continent.

Peace in this case will not merely be the absence of violence, but the ability of a society to respond to the needs of its citizens, reduce the number of conflicts, and resolve existing disputes. While security, will be protection from harm in every imaginable way.

One veritable way to actualise the dream of a peaceful Africa is through the embrace of education. Good education will help purge our population of extreme doctrines and intolerance. It will also help promote a culture of justice, equity, respect for human rights, and harmony – a panacea for peaceful coexistence among diverse African populations.

Promotion of traditional African values in our communities and integration of African philosophies of reconciliation, non-violent resolution of grievances, and communal participation into the educational curriculum will also help achieve sustainable peace. Pre-colonial African states were plural, yet people lived in harmony. Traders could display their wares and leave their shops to attend to domestic chores without the fear of theft, children in the community were trained and nurtured by all, and members of traditional religious groups enjoyed the support of one another during festivities, despite worshipping different deities. Such sense of solidarity, togetherness, and religious tolerance is needed to achieve sustainable peace and security.

There is similarly the need to stem all forms of inequality to prevent civil unrest in our communities. We cannot achieve sustainable peace as long as women are discriminated against, and minority groups are sidelined. By allowing equitable distribution of resources, bridging the poverty gap and ensuring minority voices are heard; we will be taken steps in the right direction. We equally need to strengthen our democratic institutions, promote representative governance and shun all forms of discrimination to achieve sustainable peace and security.

Economic revival in the form of job creation to cater for the unemployed population and improvement in the ease of doing business is also important to attain security. Engaging unemployed youths will prevent them from being willing tools in the hands of extremist groups. While the improved ease of doing business, will make local enterprises thrive, and increase tourism and foreign direct investment. Business competitiveness and economic productivity will thus result.

Health is a prerequisite for the attainment of peace. As it is impossible to be at peace when there is infirmity and the mind is feeble. Making health care affordable via creation and strengthening of insurance schemes will enable even the least privileged of our population access care when the need arises. And this will in effect bring about peace and security.

To deter crimes in our communities, it is important to uphold the rule of law. Recruiting natives into our security agencies will also make them more efficient. An indigenous police force will understand the local population more, and will be able to maintain law and order better. Funding, equipping and regular training of such agencies will help improve their capacity to sustain peace.

We equally need to strengthen our social institutions to cater for street children, internally displaced persons, and refugees – to help integrate them into our communities. By creating trust funds we will be able to provide relief materials and fund peacekeeping operations during natural disasters, and violent conflicts.

The construct of peace is such that straddles every facet of human life. So the attainment of peace is dependent on good governance – which requires responsible leadership, participatory citizenship and fair political representation, with its attendant benefits of good education, affordable health care, financial security, food security, and an effective criminal justice system. While this definition of peace may seem like a utopia, each gentle stride will move us towards the desired destination. Only enduring peace can provide the level of security necessary to make human potentials flourish. With a peaceful and secured Africa, we will be able to develop human capital and attain sustainable development.

Adeyoose wrote from Ibadan