Fulani-Gwari Clash: Group Calls for Quick Installation of Peace and Orders

Following the crisis which erupted between Gwari farmers and Fulani herdsmen on Sunday as a result of encroachment of herds of cattle into farmlands in Gwako, under Gwagwalada Local Government Area of the Federal Capital Territory, a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Youth Against Disaster Initiative (YADI) observed that:
1. During the dry season, low feedstuff and low water in rivers would trigger an early movement of herds in search of pasture and water as early as December/January, thereby increasing the risk of conflicts between herdsmen and farmers.
2. Overgrazing and overcrowding settlements could further intensify conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in the affected areas.
3. Communal clash has remained a persistent phenomenon between farmers and herdsmen across the country, especially during the dry season starting from November/December every year.
4. Various Farmers-Herdsmen clashes in the country have resulted to serious socio-economic losses to the innocent individuals in the country.
5. As struggles persist against low feed purchasing power and the general fall in prices of animals as a result of deterioration in animal body conditions in dry season, the country is expected to witness further Farmers-Herdsmen conflicts across the country.
The Group recommended as follows:
1. All levels of Government should make good drinking water available for both man and animals in water deficit areas, through the provision of sufficient wells or boreholes in the affected communities.
2. Farmers should start planting at the appropriate period, consciously use their food reserve, and improve feeds during the growing season in accordance with guidance and advice of state agriculture services.
3. Traditional rulers and community heads across the country should encourage the herdsmen to make adequate provisions for their animal feeds against dry season; through massive storage of animal feedstuffs during the growing season.
4. Traditional rulers and community heads should institute alternative means of conflict resolution, especially between their farmers and herdsmen to avoid undesirable elements that could capitalize on the insecurity in the country to attack innocent citizens.
We commend the prompt intervention of the search and rescue team of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Capital Ministry, Civil Defence Corps, and Nigerian Army which had helped to curtail the escalation of the crisis in the area.

Abubakar Jimoh
National Coordinator, Youths Against Disasters Initiative (YADI)