Abuja — The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has warned that the current herders and farmers clashes across the country are capable of derailing efforts of the country in the area of agricultural development and diversification needed for the development of the country.
Director General of the Institute, Professor Oshita O. Oshita, who stated this during an interaction with journalists in Abuja, appealed to Nigerians to refrain from actions that further aggravate the situation.
He said: "The recurring reign of terror on hapless communities by unknown persons for whatever reasons at this period when the federal government is focusing on developing agriculture and diversifying the economy, represents serious threat to rural communities that constitute the bedrock of agriculture in Nigeria.
"The IPCR condemns in entirety the attacks on communities and individuals across Nigeria. The Institute wishes to use this medium to appeal for calm, restraint and tolerance by all the parties and to reiterate that violence is a tool for the coward. I call on all parties to embrace peace and dialogue, which are the pathways to sustainable development."
He disclosed that as an agency saddled with the responsibility of promoting peace and harmony among Nigerians, the IPCR has arranged to be meeting regularly with Chairmen of Council of Chiefs across the country as well as youth leaders from the 774 local government areas.
"These peace and reconciliation meetings will leverage IPCR early warning data and build on the traditional infrastructure for peace in the different parts of Nigeria," he said.
Oshita, however, called for calm on the part of all concerned to refrain from provocative utterances capable of inciting reaction from sections of the population.
"I wish to appeal to other Nigerians in and out of the epicenters of these conflicts to desist from using politics to frame peace and security issues which arise from the competition for scarce resources by occupational groups," he said.