Nigeria plans town hall talks for herdsmen, farmers

Nigeria plans town hall talks for herdsmen, farmers

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 6:49 pm

A herds boy fully armed

A herds boy fully armed

Minister of Interior,  Lt.-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, on Wednesday said the Federal Government would hold a town hall meeting between herdsmen and farmers to address the lingering crises between them.

According to a statement by Osaigbove Ehisienmen, press secretary to the minister, the dialogue would involve stakeholders from various umbrella associations of herders, farmers, state governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Other stakeholders that would attend the meeting include the civil societies, media, MDAs, professional bodies and humanitarian institutions.

Ehinsienmen also  said that the‎ proposed dialogue would provide opportunities for various stakeholders to share views and provide honest answers to the various questions that might arise.

No date has been fixed yet for the conversation.

The suggestion for a town hall meeting followed several deadly clashes between AK47 carrying herdmen and farmers, who are their hosts.

A bloody incident that has gained national attention was the attack on Agatu community by the herdsmen. Tens of people were killed and their homes burnt.

The herdsmen justified the killings as reprisals for 5,000 heads of cattle killed by the Agatu people. But several visits to the destroyed community have not revealed such attack on cattle.

Mr Osaigbovo Ehisienmen made reference to the clashes, without being specific, in the statement issued today:

“Following the disturbing trend of avoidable clashes between herdsmen and farmers in some parts of the country, the Federal Government is finalising plans to call for a town hall dialogue.

“The dialogue will involve critical stakeholders at a date to be announced,’’ it said.

Government also condemned  the  lingering crises between the two groups, noting that it had become‎ imperative to examine the factors that gave rise to such conflicts as well as find a lasting solution to them.


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