Due to the persistent crisis between herdsmen and farmers in some parts of the country, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is collaborating with the National Theatre/National Troupe of Nigeria using community theatre and advocacy to promote peace building efforts that will reinforce the country’s patriotic narrative.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday, Director General of NOA, Garba Abari said the synergy between his agency and the National theatre/ National troupe tagged “Sharing the Green Grass” is aimed at working with local Fulani pastoral communities and local farming communities in Nasarawa, Kaduna Plateau, Taraba, Benue and Enugu states using community theatre drama model and advocating the common grounds which emphasizes non-adversarial resolution of conflicts and disputes in communities.
“This tested model which is community based, involving direct intervention in mediating actual herders and Farmers dialogue in the target states will introduce an interpersonal dimension, also using community Theater to find common grounds, that will use common creative artistic expressions” he said.
He therefore warned against “inciting Nigerians to kill and maim innocent fellows over acts that are perpetrated by criminal element” stressing that Law enforcement agencies will be proactive in arresting and sanctioning those elements in the communities.
In his remarks, the Artistic Director/CEO National Theatre/ National Troupe of Nigeria, Comrade Tar Ukoh said the initiative is a contionous one which will endure for a long time in the chosen communities.
Comrade Ukoh who explained that the initiative will be dealing with Fulani Herders who are different from the Fulani ethnic communities said the “the person we are dealing with, the herder who migrate from one part of Africa to Another part of Africa. They are of two categories, we have those who transit through Nigeria in the yearly migrations from one spot in Africa to another, taking care of their cattle, and we have others who are indigenous to Nigeria, those who have travelled and settled in Nigeria” he said.
He said the aim is to build confidence between the communities, provide the platform for a new kind of emphatic engagement between and among the people of the same geographical areas.