A survey has found that more than 300,000 Nigerians have been displaced in four states in the farmers and herders crisis in the country.
One of the lead researchers, Joseph Ochogwu, an associate research professor with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, revealed this while presenting the policy brief in Abuja.
The research, with the topic Trends and Dynamics of Conflict between Farmers and Pastoralists in Nigeria’s Benue Valley, listed the states as Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Taraba.
According to Mr Ochogwu, Nigeria’s Benue valley comprising Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa and Kaduna have experienced escalating tensions between farmers and herders.
He said the conflict, which was primarily a contest over land and water, was threatening the country’s food security and stability.
Mr Ochogwu said key findings of the research included trends and patterns of the conflict, gender dimension of the conflict, demographic shift, mental health and psychological support, and community resilience among others.
He urged the state governments to strengthen the already existing community policing structure such as vigilantes for intelligence gathering.
Mr Ochogwu urged the Federal Government to order the investigation of all recent violence between farmers and pastoralists and expedite the trials of individuals or groups found to have participated, sponsored or involved in violence.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the research was carried out by Zinariya Consult, a development and policy advocacy firm, with support from Global Rights and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).