Farmers and Fulani: Dancing away their conflicts!

This article first appeared on thenewsnigeria.com on 06/05/2016.

In Nigeria, farmers and Fulani pastoralists live like two cocks thrown into a pit. The love between them is, apologies to Chinua Achebe, akin to the one between the goat and the cocoyam.

That is why, in different parts of the country, clashes by Fulani herdsmen and farmers have resulted in deaths of hundreds.

However, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Search for Common Ground, on Saturday held cultural performance to promote peace and unity among farmers and herdsmen in Plateau.

Search for Common Ground, according to a NAN report, is currently working in 35 countries of the world to promote peaceful coexistence amongst the people.

The cultural performance was organized in collaboration with the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos.

The event, tagged “I Will Follow the Green Grass”, had in attendance traditional leaders, youths, women and other stakeholders in peace building activities.

Speaking at the event, Mr Rajendra Mulmi, the Country Director, Search for Common Ground Nigeria, said the cultural performance was aimed at ending clashes among herdsmen and farmers.

He said that the cross-cultural dance show was organized to express the need for herdsmen and farmers to embrace the peace.

“Peace is the most essential thing everybody needs; it is essential because without it, there will be no meaningful development.”

“So, we decided to adopt the cultural approach so as to show to both the herders and the farmers that they have a lot in common and so the clashes are uncalled for,” he said.

The Plateau Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Peter Mwankon, commended the efforts of the organizers for the relative peace being enjoyed in the state.

He said government was making frantic efforts to sustain the current peace in the state to enable it attain meaningful growth and development.

He urged other NGOs to emulate the organizers in preaching the gospel of peace to the people at both rural and urban areas.

The highlight of the event was a drama presentation by Fulani and Berom youths and dance presentation by various cultural groups.

Similar event was organized in Kaduna and Nasarawa states.