The farmer-herder's conflict is becoming more dangerous resulting to an increasing tension in Nigeria and across the west African region in the past two years, the Economic Community of West African States has said.
Senior Adviser, Nigeria on International Crisis, ECOWAS, Nnamdi Obasi, said this in Abuja yesterday at a forum organised by the ECOWAS and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel on best practices for resolving farmer-herder conflicts in West Africa in Abuja.
He noted that the conflict between farmer-herder had been recognised as a very serious national security problem through the National Security Strategy issued last year.
He said the forum was to connect various levels of responses, national, regional and the local levels to proffer solutions to how the conflicts could be resolved.
He stated: "Nigeria is a major part of the region in terms of population as well as the challenges we are facing.
"Over the last two years we have seen very disturbing escalation of the tension and conflicts between farmers and herders but we are making progress now because at least we now know that we have a serious problem in our hands."
UNOWAS Representative, Ms Ngozi Amu, said the conflict was repeatedly becoming a trend and more serious in many countries.
She said the conflict "is historical such of phenomena and it often has to do with access to land, sharing resources and others. But particular in West Africa is that land and borders are becoming scarce."
A civil society representative from the Centre for Renovation and Research, Nathaniel Awuapida, said farmer-herder conflicts could not be effectively resolved either at the local or national level, but were issues to be addressed at the sub-regional level "and perhaps at the Sahel and West Africa."