As conflict of land use and grazing rights continue to linger between herders and farmers in various states across the country, data science journalist, Chikezie Omeje, has called for a data-driven solution and approach.
Omeje made the call at a zoom workshop organised as part of his Davis Projects for Peace, a project that empowers students to carry out peace initiatives around the world every summer.
In his presentation, Omeje said “Violence can be sustainably prevented or reduce, if there is improved awareness on the magnitude and negative impact of the conflict.”
He lamented the unavailability of granular data, noting that Nigeria lacks open database on the farmer-herder conflict, stating that without robust and granular data, improved understanding of farmer herder dynamics is difficult.
“Without data, it becomes difficult to analyse the conflict, in terms of trends and other factors. If data on the patterns and trends of the conflicts risks factor are linked with good storytelling, a positive impact can be made for peace and security at the communities that have faced these persistent and vicious attacks,” he added.
Omeje, therefore, urged journalists and peace building organisations to arm themselves with relevant data and facts for better understanding of issues and proffering possible solution.
Meanwhile, findings by Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) as presented by Omeje, showed that Nigeria has lost no fewer than 8,343 persons to Herders-Farmers conflicts from 2005 till date.
According to data released by ACLED, Benue State topped the list of states with most affected by attacks, with 2,539 from 303 attacks, while Plateau, Kaduna, Taraba and Nasarawa lost 2,138, 1,188, 755, 521 lives in 279, 160, 111 and 93 attacks respectively.