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UN blames LGs for farmers-herdsmen clashes, proffers solution

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The United Nations has blamed the prevailing farmer, herders’ crisis in the country on  the weak Local Government administration system in the country.

The Peace and Development Adviser, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Zebulon Takwa, while speaking on the matter said poor Local Government administration is largely responsible for farmers-herdsmen clashes in Nigeria

He gave the position in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, adding that the “weak operational structures at the local government level are the major problem”.

According to him, issues that were supposed to be addressed by local administration authority were left unattended to over a long period.

The UN official also noted that most of the issues that escalated to crises ought to have been resolved at the local level by the authorities, traditional and religious leaders.

He decried the situation where structures for such prompt amicable settlement were not effective enough to prevent conflicts.

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Takwa also lamented the situation where most local government officials migrated to urban centres instead of concentrating on their primary responsibilities of settling crises, developing infrastructure and social amenities, among others.

“We realise that governance of rural communities are now being done from the urban centres by officials who prefer to live in the cities.

“This is a trend we need to reverse and bring life back to the rural areas, including infrastructure.

“This measure will ensure that whatever is happening in rural area is seen as part of holistic development because we need to begin development from the base, which is the community.

“Rural governance is in the context of third tiers of government and if the local government is up and doing most of these issues and problems will not have arisen,’’ he said.

Takwa, however, called for a total restructuring of the local government administration that will allow for the development of basic infrastructure and amenities.

He added that the structure should also allow the traditional and religious leaders to play their roles in resolving disputes before degenerating to full-blown crises.

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