ABUJA- The Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI) has called on the federal government of Nigeria to partner the institute in the search for lasting solutions to the frequent clashes involving herdsmen and farmers across the country in the last couple of years, and most recently in Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, and Zamfara States amongst others.
The association while commiserating with the bereaved families for the loss of their loved ones and valuable properties condemned what it called an attempt to politicize the killings and called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to work in sync with State governments and critical stakeholders to forestall future violent skirmishes. Speaking at a press conference at the Institute’s Abuja office, Khaleel Bolaji, President of the association, stressed the significance of partnering with government in the search for solutions, adding that NIPSS was in possession of well researched documents capable of resolving the perennial crises.
“There are several researches conducted at NIPSS aimed at resolving the conflict. The federal government committee should engage NIPSS as well as the alumni association to bring out practical solutions to the crises. “The attempts to politicize and escalate the conflict are highly condemned and unacceptable,” he said, even as he tasked the security agencies not only to be alive “In the proactive protection of lives and properties but also in bringing to books the perpetrators of these dastardly acts.” The association further disclosed plans to convene a national stakeholders’ conference to review the security situations in the country, with a view to preferring hard-nosed recommendations for peaceful coexistence. Bolaji who argued in favour of setting up ranches also said the herdsmen should be helped to go on about their activities without posing trouble for others. “What we need is to encourage these herdsmen to ensure that their work goes on very well without infringing on the rights of farmers and other people for that matter,” he added.