Nigeria loses about $14 billion annually to crisis between farmers and herders, the Country Director of Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), Dr, Babatunde Afolabi has said.
Afolabi in a remark during the launch of HD peace mediation process between farmer-pastoralist communities in Benue state disclosed that the fatalities recorded from the farmer-herder clashes outnumbered those of the ongoing devastating insurgency in the North East.
“Estimates reveal that Nigeria loses about $14billion per annum to farmer-herder clashes. Looking at the food security dimension, if the farmer-herder crisis worsens, the devastating effects on our country is better imagined than experienced.
“Also, the farmer-herder crisis has further worsened prevailing security issues such as the proliferation of small and light weapons, increased crime rate, rape, criminal destruction of livelihoods, cattle rustling, drug abuse, arson, as well as kidnapping,” he said.
The HD country director, who stressed the need to achieve peace in conflicts communities across Nigeria, noted that the Swiss-based diplomacy organisation founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality and independence would help prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflict through dialogue and mediation.
He added that currently, the organisation involved in more than 40 dialogue and mediation initiatives in over 20 countries, some public, others confidential, across the world has since early 2013, led and facilitated three inter-communal dialogue and conflict mediation processes in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, specifically in Plateau and Kaduna states.