Herders/Farmers Crisis: NOA, National Troupe partner FCTA on peace building

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In line with its statutory mandate to sensitize citizens for peaceful- co-existence among Nigerians, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the National Theater / National Troupe, in collaborative effort are partnering the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) on the development of a community engagement platform targeted at local pastoral farmers and nomadic cattle herders.

Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari made this disclosure when he paid a working visit to the Minister of the FCTA, Muhammadu Bello in Abuja.

Abari said the synergy with the cultural expertise of the National Theater of Nigeria in the area of community theater to unfold comprehensive community oriented peace building initiatives which will be desirable for institutional inter community dialogue for peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes for national development.

He explained that the platform called “Sharing the Green” is to use advocacy and community theatre which will be staged by local farmers and herders themselves, under the guidance of the National Troupe, to narrate challenges and evolve the solutions without violence or law enforcement.

The DG NOA said the Agency and the National Troupe of Nigeria flagged –off this collaborative peace building intervention initiative which will leverage on NOA’s national foot print and its capacity to speak in all Nigerian languages, the National Theater and National Troupe of Nigeria will deploy its expertise in the area of community theater to work with NOA in unfolding community oriented peace building solutions.

Using the “Sharing the grass model, we will be advocating for common grounds which would lead to a stop in the current senseless killings on both sides, this approach to peace building would be community based and will introduce an interpersonal dimension which will bring both sides together to tell their story, discuss challenges and determine common grounds for solution” Abari said.

The NOA boss said the collaborative efforts with the National Troupe of Nigeria was to mainstream a new narrative of peace dialogue, identification of criminal elements on both sides who provoke this violence and more often than not, seem to get away with their crimes, also encourage new narrative of allowing justice to take its course rather than resorting to self-help which rather than solve the problem merely lead to the loss of innocent lives on both sides.

The Minister, FCTA, Mohammadu Bello said the Federal Capital Territory serves as a symbol of national unity and must be protected to be peaceful for peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians irrespective of tribal, religious and political affiliations.

Bello said that as the city grows, there is a large mass influx of citizen coming with different attitudes and orientation that are not acceptable for progress and development of the city adding that the FCTA is granting access to the old parade ground and slots on NTA Chanel 5 Abuja to NOA for orientation and communication programmes.

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