Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu has said the conflict between occupations in northern Nigeria has given rise to increased insecurity in the region.
While several states in the north witness attacks by bandits and insurgents, Kebbi state has remained off the radar of the criminals with the governor suggesting inclusion is the main driver of peace and prosperity in any region.
He told ARISE News that “groups that are feeling angry, as much as we may also feel angry towards their conduct, we have to focus on how is everyone included.
“Banditry and the related phenomenal, kidnapping which is purely a criminal enterprise might have causes which originated from lack of inclusion or perception of such non-inclusion can be dealt with by punishing criminality but at the same time focusing on the bigger challenge of ensuring all groups feel less angry and all groups feel included.
“There are conflicts between occupations, the farmers, those pastoralists, the fishing communities, occasionally they come into conflict which can express itself in very different forms and keep worsening especially couple with the existence of drug problem in some places, the availability of small arms that have been proliferating.
“So you have a conflict situation which exists with some extenuating circumstances like drugs and arms then, unfortunately, tragic consequences can result. But we in Kebbi appreciated that we should continue to push to ensure that all groups are included, or there is a localised mechanism for conflict resolution because these are daily happenstance, the conflict for land, and land resources across the country is a continuous thing.
“So states or communities that have evolved mechanisms to deal with them tend to contain whatever anger or whatever agitation easily, but we also call other states should focus increasingly on why we are working hard to punish and fight criminality, we should also look at the root causes, look at the land problems and look at the conflict mechanisms whether they exist at the local levels.”
By Abel Ejikeme