Former Nigerian Senator, Abdullaziz Nyako
By Senator AbdulAziz Nyako
The rains are over. Seasonal streams are drying. There is enough cattle feed on the grasslands but there would soon be no water as the streams dry up. Livestock, just like humans, could stay a few days without feed/food but not without water. Livestock would therefore commence their annual migration towards the Benue trough in the next week or so (within November).
No cattle routes have been left in some localities. Some farms/crops have not been harvested. These are potential flash points. These are the conditions for the beginning of farmer-herder crises that could escalate into communal crises from November until the rains return. This has re-occurred for years but our responses have generally been reactive rather than proactive.
It is therefore important that leaders in every locality start preparing their people for any eventuality. It is important that crises resolving mechanisms be put in place early.
This could be achieved through proactive dialogue between farming communities and the local/traditional herdsmen communities in each locality.
The locals should work out the modalities for crises resolution and the wider community should be sensitized accordingly. Nobody should take laws into his/her hands. The authorities should enforce what is agreed upon.
The time to be proactive is now. A stitch in time saves nine.