The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Northern region, has called for the establishment of ranches as a panacea to stem the violent nature of farmer-herder relations which has been bedeviling the region in recent time and the challenges that come with open-grazing of cattle.
The Northern CAN equally called on government and the Church to ensure that concerted efforts are made towards the provision of trauma and psycho-social healing initiatives in communities affected by violent attacks.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day Peace Summit tagged; Sustainable Peace and Security in Northern Nigeria as a Panacea for Development: The Role of Christian Religious Leaders; organised by CAN Northern region, comprising of the 19 northern states and the FCT, which held in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
According to the communiqué, which was read by Rev. Danjuma Byang, “In view of the violent character of farmer-herder relations in recent time and the disadvantages of open-grazing of cattle, participants recommended that the ranching policy should be encouraged.
“There is need for proper Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) before the implementation of the proposed Ranching framework.
“Indeed, government and critical stakeholders should engage communities through strategic advocacy and sensitization.
“There is also need for periodic review of the implementation of the policy,” the Church leaders maintained.
Northern CAN further said, “There is a need for concerted commitment by government and the Church towards the provision of trauma and psycho-social healing initiatives in communities affected by violent attacks.
“This is critical in curtailing the vicious cycle of violence within communities in Northern Nigeria.”
On poverty alleviation and job creation, they said there is a need for the government, church and other critical stakeholders to vigorously tackle the challenge of “unemployment and poverty through poverty alleviation initiatives through industrialization, skill acquisition schemes, loan schemes” among others.
The summit called on Christian political leaders to be faithful ambassadors of Jesus Christ in all areas of their public services by proclaiming Jesus as Lord.
To combat the menace of illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the rise of violent militia groups, participants called on government to “strengthen border and forest security management across the country”.