Over 30, 000 individuals impacted through farmers-herders project, says IOM

UN Laments Decreasing Numbers of Elected Women to Political Offices in Nigeria

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The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday said it has positively impacted not less than 30, 000 individuals through conflict mitigation between farmers and herders in Taraba and Adamawa.

The IOM Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck disclosed this during the official inauguration of the second phase of the mission’s project steering committee meeting in Abuja.

The project is on: “Contributing to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources between farmer and herder communities in Taraba and Adamawa States, Nigeria (COMITAS Il)”.

The event was organised by IOM through collaboration with Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Mercy Corps and funded by the European Union (EU).

De Boeck, represented by Juliana Dorr, Programme Manager of IOM said, “The COMITAS II project was built on the first one, in December, 2022 it successfully contributed to improving the lives of women, men and children in Adamawa.

“This is the start of phase-two and with the programme inclusion of Taraba the contribution by partners has reached 30, 000 individuals across nine local governments.”

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa represented by Prof. David Jatan, Commissioner for Agriculture said the COMITAS II project has been going on in the state since 2021.

“The project has made tremendous impact on the community, particularly on issues of herders-farmers conflict; it has reduced incidents of conflicts between farmers and herders drastically.

“The peacebuilding programme of the project has brought sucor and peace among farmers and herders in Adamawa, and changed the livelihood of these communities,” Fintiri said.

Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba represented by Dr Jeji Williams, Chief of Staff to the Governor said the programme is ongoing in the state.

Kefas said, “We benefited so much and lots of women and children have improved in terms of livelihood; we are not Oliver Twist, but we will tell you there are more grey areas to be covered in the state.”

Eric Pitois, Programme Manager, Regional Team for West Africa of the EU, said the project remained important as it tackles the root causes of farmers-herders crisis in Nigeria.

“This includes high competition of natural resources, climate change; we strongly encourage positive collaboration between Federal Ministries, Adamawa, Taraba and other stakeholders.

“They should work towards the noble goal for Nigerians, particularly women and children living in difficulties in some parts of the country,” he said.

Dennis Oziioko, Staff Officer Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) commended the meeting for being timely in tackling conflict.

“There is no doubt this meeting will provide an opportunity for all our key project officials to review updates on the COMITAS II project activities, since the last meeting held in 2023 in Abuja.

“We will be able to look at progress so far made, as well as discuss the sustainability plan of the project,” Oziioko said.

The committee seeks to oversee implementation, make decisions and provide strategic guidance due to demographic growth, expansion of human settlements, privatisation of land, year-round farming practices, environmental degradation, and climate change.

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