From Femi Oyelola Kaduna
A former Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation (SABMF), Justice Mamman Nasir, has warned political office holders to stop politicizing the herdsmen/farmers conflict; saying it is a serious problem bedeviling the nation and needs urgent solution.
He stated this in his remarks at a 2-day roundtable on peace and security in the north with emphasis on sustainable solution to herders/farmers clashes and rural banditry held in Kaduna yesterday.
According to him, the insincerity of political office holders to address the issue has led to its escalation. He expressed dismay that some of the politicians are taking advantage of the situation to score cheap political marks.
Justice Nasir said the north for long has been an agrarian society where farmers and herdsmen lived in peaceful coexistence, so he wondered why the recent rancor which has resulted to loss of lives and property.
He added that, the 2-day roundtable discussion was organized by the Foundation to proffer genuine and sincere solutions to the conflict.
In his remarks, the former Governor of Kano state who is also the Secretary Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Dr. Ibrahim Shekarau, said the herdsmen/farmers conflict is as a result of suspicion among the groups who hitherto lived as neighbours.
He said the task of the roundtable discussion is to identify factors responsible for the suspicions. He added that the conflict is being used as political tool while some have trying to turn it to a religious conflict.
He warned that if not check the herdsmen/farmers conflict will have a devastating effect on economic and security of the country.
Speaking on the need for the roundtable, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, SABMF, Dr. Shettima Aji Ali, said it is clear that no social or economic development will consolidate under the persisting insecurity in the region.
“Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation considers it timely to deepen the search for sustainable peace and security by continuing the dialogue through a stakeholders’ roundtable to discuss all the issues, perceived and experienced, real and imagined,” he said.