OPINION: REVISIT THE NATIONAL LIVESTOCK TRANSFORMATION PLAN BEFORE NIGERIA PLUMMETS INTO ANOTHER CIVIL WAR
The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) is designed to improve the performance and sustainability of livestock production and value addition in Nigeria. This objective will be achieved by modernizing livestock production through the establishment of ranches for the sedentarization of nomadic and transhumant pastoralists and to mitigate ongoing crisis between pastoralists and crop farmers. This will improve the genetic merit of indigenous cattle for milk and meat production and the reproductive performance of indigenous cattle. NLTP is designed to work in a way that states will determine if they are willing to participate as participation remains voluntary.
The role of the Federal Government is to coordinate, monitor and help to implement the Plan.
The NLTP is also focusing on 6 key Pillars:
Justice and peace
Humanitarian Relief and Early Recovery (rehabilitation, reconstruction, resettlement and compensation of the displaced persons affected by the farmer-herder conflict in the seven – targeted pilot states).
Human Capital Development
Cross-cutting other issues (such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication).
NLTP is not in any way the same as RUGA as people are scared about. People need to understand that NLTP which was conceived by the National Economic Council which includes the 36 Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, agreed to its establishment and states such as Benue and Adamawa have begun the initiative to forestall the crisis happening between the Herdsmen and the farmers.
The situation in Oyo in particular needs to be addressed particularly, concerning the Fulanis, who basically engage in one form of pastoralism or the other as there had been some issues of concern which also generates conflicts. These conflicts can be said to be caused and aggravated by increasing competition for common resources such as land and water points as a result of population growth as observed in other similar environments.
Livestock management practice in Sub Sahara Africa is fodder-based and cattle movement is dictated by the availability of fodder and water. This factor brings crops farmers and nomads on conflict path in most times. All over the world, there had been a history of clashes between pastoralists and crop farmers. For example, in the Middle East, there were reports of clashes between nomadic Bedouin and the Fellahin (Peasant Farmers) in Arab societies.
The Fulani had co-existed with the people of Oyo state for ages. There had even been inter-tribal marriages in some cases. However, as with other societies where people dwell together, there were pockets of conflicts here and there. The major sources of conflicts between the nomads and crop farmers were crop destruction by animals and sexual harassment while cattle theft and language barrier were conflicts sources faced by the nomad from their host communities.
Conflict resolution strategy adopted in any situation is important as it will determine whether the conflict subsides or aggravates. Strategies adopted by crop farmers and nomads in Ogo – Oluwa LGA included formal reports to concerned authorities and payment of compensation by the offending party. Investigation shows that establishment of grazing reserves for the nomads by concerned authorities, value re-orientation on peaceful co-existence that can lead to behavioural change in the crop farmers and nomads by concerned authorities, compensation and also mediation by law enforcement agents will further enhance peaceful co-existence among tribes.
The Oyo State Government needs to monitor the activities going on in the mining area and also communities closer to the mining area due to the fact that foreigners come to the mining areas in the hope of being hired cheaply whereby they are in for other different activities. Most of the host communities and two-three villages ahead of the host communities suffer from this when foreigners from the mining companies are disengaged from work as they resolve to criminality (Kidnapping activities) which is profitable to them.
The Solution to the problems is for Oyo state to introduce the National Livestock Transformation Plan and also enhance the security in the host communities for mining activities and villages ahead of the communities, peaceful co-existence and conflict management is the answer to all the problems.
Alade Tobiloba Oyewo
Criminologist/Counter-terrorism analyst, Crime analyst
Follow on Twitter @mobilisingniger
The views held by the author do not represent the stance of Eons Intelligence.