Following the incessant herders/farmers conflicts with the attendant loss of lives and property, the Federal Government plans to organize a regional conference, involving all the countries in the ECOWAS sub-region, to draw up a framework to resolve the crises.
The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, disclosed this while on a visit to the President, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Marcel de Souza, to consult with him on the conference.
Gen. Dambazau described the conflicts as having wider regional dimensions, as they had spread across the many states of the ECOWAS sub-region, and therefore required the adoption of multi-dimensional and regional approaches to tackle.
The Minister said the conference would also explore the relationship between the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and trans-border criminal activities.
He noted the deep concern of the Federal Government about the loss of lives and property, and stated President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to put an end to the conflicts in the country, emphasizing that multi-dimensional approaches were being employed to address the issues.
The Minister stated that the Conference would hold in early February with participants made up of Ministers of Agriculture and Security in the ECOWAS sub-region, as well as the formation of an Inter-Ministerial Committee, which membership would be drawn from Nigeria and the ECOWAS Commission.
Responding, the President, ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, agreed on the need to hold a regional conference in Abuja, where, among other things, the ECOWAS Transhumance Protocol would be properly explained for proper implementation by member states.
He also said that the proper implementation of the Protocol would help to curb the farmers/herders conflict across the sub-region.