Misereor Dialogue Services Promotes Community-Based Solution to Farmer-Herder Conflicts, Holds 3-Day Workshop in Ibadan

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Umar Hasan, a consultant for the German NGO, Misereor Dialogue Services and supporter of Nigeria’s JDPC (Justice Peace and Development Commission), has asserted that a community-centered approach is the most effective way to resolve herder-farmer conflicts in the nation.

While speaking to reporters at the conclusion of a three-day workshop he led in Ibadan, Hasan highlighted how this approach, instead of employing force, has successfully diminished conflicts between the two groups. The workshop included participants from the organization, media experts, and various stakeholders.

The workshop which was aimed at capacity building of personnel of the JDPC and stakeholders on conflict management held at the U.I Ventures comprises members of the JDPC from Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, and Benue States media professionals as well as representatives of Misereor.

He observed that though Herders-Farmers clashes still persist in states like Plateau, Benue, and some other areas where the JDPC have intervened using the approach had yielded positive results.

“So far so good, on all the areas Misereor is operating and visiting, community engagement is the best, not using the military, police, or any other security personnel, we only bring in security personnel when the issue has gone out of hand.”

“One basic thing is that because of the community-based approach they have taken, dialogue between farmers and herders and other stakeholders like traditional rulers, government officials, and even the media, there has been a lot of improvement in terms of herders, farmers relationship in areas such as Benue as against what we use to have before.”

“in the South West, although the conflict is very much there, we have not recorded casualties like in the North Central part of Nigeria.”

“These six JDPCs brought together are not the only ones being funded by Misereor, they are also funding many other state dioceses. They have started with this region except for the fact that they also brought Makurdi to the southwest because of the experience they have had so far.”

He decried the response of government towards assisting the organization’s efforts in nipping the ugly trend in the bud saying that such support may not necessarily be financial, but by responding through their mandates.”

The Head of Misereor Dialogue Partnership Services DPS, Nigeria, Julia Krojer, said dialogue remains the best form of conflict resolution among farmers and herders in the country.

Media attendees at the workshop tasked the media with peace journalism, diligence, and professionalism in reporting conflict from its brewing to its actual stage.

In the interactive session, journalists identified a lack of familiarity with conflict reporting, calling for increased sensitization of journalists on peace journalism and conflict reporting.

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