Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Dambazua has said the social media is to be held responsible for the escalation of the crisis between the herdsmen and farmers being currently viewed under ethnic lines.
In recent times, hundreds have lost their lives during clashes between herdsmen and their host communities (mainly farmers).
Dambazau, who was speaking during an inaugural meeting for stakeholders on the conflict in Abuja, blamed social media for the way the crisis is currently bring viewed by Nigerians, reports Premium Times.
He said that the effects of the conflicts have been loss of lives, dislocation of people and communities, as well as the destruction of socio-economic activity, and constitute a threat to the peaceful co-existence of the country.
“The rise of the social media has given scope to the non-traditional media outlets which has seen interest groups frame stories surrounding the conflict in ways that tend to undermine the cooperate existence of Nigeria,” he said.
The Interior Minister said the meeting, which hopes to bring together ethnic, religious, geopolitical, civil societies and other concerned parties, will after its inauguration serve as a basis for deciding on the membership of subsequent stakeholders meeting on the conflict.
“Although the problem is currently within the Niger-Benue river basin regions of the country, it has a wider geographical implication affecting the West and even Central Africa.
“While the ongoing conflict and present meeting is centered on Nigeria’s internal security, I believe it might be necessary to also consider the larger West and Central Africa region in arriving at an understanding of the Niger-Benue basin as an arena of conflict because of its rich pasture and water resources where pastoralists converge seasonally to graze their cattle”.
“It is duly recognised that the conflict spawns beyond the immediate Niger-Benue river through to even south-eastern and western Nigeria, where similar conflicts; even with violent tendencies, are being recorded regularly,” Dambazau said.
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