NSRP/DSCMA Organises Capacity Building Workshop For Herdsmen, Community Stakeholders In Delta

By Kenneth Orusi, TheNigerianVoice

The Nigerian Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) and the Delta State Conflict Management Alliance (DSCMA) have organised a one-day capacity building workshop for headsmen and community stakeholders in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The DSCMA Convener, Mr Ebruke Esike, said the workshop became necessary because of the threatening security challenges in the state due to conflicts between farmers and Fulani herdsmen.

“Reports have it that some persons have been violated, some killed and some raped but there had not been any clear evidence of who the perpetrators are. So, we are trying to unravel this by having them discuss together with all the herdsmen and community stakeholders from the 25 local government areas in the state. This will enable us gather enough information and find out where the challenges are and nip them in the bud," he said.

Mr Timothy Agboragu, Media Committee Chairman, DSCMA commended the number of participants, particularly the headsmen, women and community stakeholders and representatives of the state security agencies at the workshop.

“This means that people are ready and willing to discuss peace as we can see from the attendance and this shows that the issues and conflicts are given both herdsmen and the communities a lot of concern. This workshop is worthwhile and it will help to make them have a better understanding of themselves and as such prevent frequent clash between farmers and herdsmen in the state”, Agboragu said.

On her part, Mrs Monica Voke-Ighorodje, NSRP Programme Officer, Niger Delta Region, said NSRP intervention through the workshop was informed to nip in the bud issues of killings arising from conflicts between the herdsmen and the farmers.

“So, we had to come up with this programme to ensure that conflicts are managed with violence and to ensure that conflicts are reduced to the nearest minimum in the state. This is a forum for us to rob minds and to reduce conflict and build peace in the various communities within Delta State”, she said.

She noted that the resolution reached at the meeting would be forwarded to assist government at all levels to understand what the situation was.

Mukhtar Usman, Special Adviser on Non-indigene Matters to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, said the state government aligns itself with the workshop to ensure and sustain peace in parts of the state, saying, “We from the government side, we are supporting the NSRP in this regards and soon we are going to call an enlarged meeting of all stakeholders to discuss on how to work together and to respect each other’s right”, he said.

The Secretary, Arewa Community, Asaba, Alhaji Adamu mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the herdsmen, lauded the convener of the programme for creating opportunity for peace and conflict resolution in the state, “If we have had this programme earlier, all the issues would have been resolved”, he said.

Mrs Grace Uyabeme, a stakeholders from Ossisa, in Ndokwa East LGA, also urged government to enlarge the stakeholders meeting into the interior communities as some of the farmers in the community no longer go to farms for fear of attacks.

“Now that it is certain that government want to maintain peace, government should build places for cattle to graze so that farmers can grow their crops and harvest it without problems in the state”, Uyabeme said.

Alhaji Abdul Rasheed Ajisafe, Chief Imam of Warri Central Mosque in the state, thanked the organisers and cautioned the herdsmen to cooperate with the community leaders and rulers to ensure peace.

“This is because without peace there cannot be development and we want peace to reign in the state and in the country at large”, he said.