Herders/farmers conflict can disintegrate Nigeria: Ibrahim Coomassie
The Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Ibrahim Coomassie, has said that the festering crisis between herders and farmers across the country was capable of plunging Nigeria into unprecedented internecine conflict.
According to Coomasie, “Today, there are too much flash points not only in the North but all over the country.
“A case in point is the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers that in recent times have assumed a most destabilising dimension which, if not managed properly, could plunge the nation, particularly the North into internecine conflicts the likes of which has never been seen before.”
He spoke at a conference tagged “North and the Challenge of Leadership”, organised by Sardauna Memorial Foundation.
Coomassie noted that the age-old relationship between farmers and herders have been muddled by politicians, land grabbers and corrupt leaders.
“Now, state governors have joined the fray by banning grazing in their states thus denying a significant proportion of citizens the right to their economic activity.
“Thousands of lives and property are continually being lost as a result of this; clearly, we have a problem of good governance.”
The ACF Chairman urged participants at the conference to proper solutions to the problem, warning that “unless we approach this problem with the seriousness it deserves, we may be heading towards anarchy and disintegration.”
According to him, the ACF had since drawn a Road Map to achieve peace, harmony and progress in the region.
He urged the participants to study the document so as to come up with informed decision at the end of the conference.
Earlier, the Chairman, Board of Trustee, Sardauna Memorial Foundation, Babangida Aliyu had urged Northern leaders to unite in finding solutions to the crisis facing the region.
“If not, we will remain where we are,” he warned in a message delivered by Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Secretary of the Foundation.
The Guest Speaker, Prof. Alkasum Abba of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, attributed the problems facing the North to poor leadership.
He said political and religious leaders in the region must have integrity and work with sincerity for the good of all citizens otherwise the schism in the region would persist.
According to him, Northern region before January 15, 1966 was a territory that was characterised by visionary leadership who worked tirelessly for the people.
“Leaders were known for their integrity, their sincerity to humanity,” he said.