Herders/farmers clash: Lawyers call for mediation, local policing, education

Armed herdsmen 

Some lawyers on Saturday called for strengthening of conflict mediation and resolution, reconciliation and peace-building mechanisms between herdsmen and farmers in Benue, Taraba and other states to foster peace and end killings.

In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the lawyers also called more education of herdsmen on the need to embrace ranching.

They  urged increased presence of security institutions, including the military in the states, saying that employment of various approaches would go a long way to end incessant killings in the states.

Mr. Qudus Mumuney, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, told NAN that there was no need for any blame game but determined and realistic efforts to end the bloodshed and homelessness.

He said that the issue should not be politicised, urging that professionals should be employed to take lead roles in the mediation and resolution.

“I strongly believe that, with creative strategies, top-notch mediation and reconciliation skills, the killings will be drastically reduced and eventually eradicated,” Mumuney said.

Mr. Ogedi Ogu, a Lagos-based lawyer, said: To find a lasting solution or at least a near solution to spate of killings, there is the need for the nation’s security apparatus to do more.

“There is urgent need to ensure synergy amongst the various security agencies especially in dissemination and sharing of information.”

He also said that herdsmen should be educated to embrace ranching.

“It is against the rule of natural justice to expect people to allow herdsmen to be marauding on their farmlands, destroying their crops in the guise of fending for cattle.

“It is, therefore, important that herdsmen are educated to embrace ranching as practised in other climes,” Ogu said.

Mr. Chijioke Ubani, vice chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Lagos State, told NAN that security agencies should be more preemptive and not reactive to security situation in the affected states.

“They should be able to prevent these attacks on defenseless citizens and not wait till it happens then they begin to react.

“I believe that the military can defeat these attackers on citizens if they increase presence in these zones,” Ubani said.

Another Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Chris Ayiyi, advised the three tiers of government to adopt local policing of their areas in other to curb insecurity. (NAN)
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