Resource Depletion Cause Of Boko Haram, Herdsmen/Farmers’ Clash – Ekweremadu


DEPUTY President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has attributed Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen/farmers clash to inequity, natural resource depletion, disrespect for human rights and the rule of law.
He described the factors as major setbacks to prosperity, peace, security and sustainable development in the Commonwealth.
Ekweremadu stated this in London on Monday in his speech at the opening session of the inaugural Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting scheduled to hold in the British capital in April.
Ekweremadu described the protracted Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen/farmers crises as “practical examples of how natural resource depletion and inequality adversely affect security and prosperity.”
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, quoted him as also linking the rising insecurity to global warming.
The Deputy Senate President said, “Lake Chad, which is a major source of livelihood for parts of Niger Republic, Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon, has shrunk from 25,000 square kilometres in the 1960s to just 2,500 square kilometres today. This has seriously aided the rise, spread and monumental consequences of Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria and its North-East border countries.
“With millions displaced and thousands killed, drought, disease and chronic poverty have had the world grappling with the worst humanitarian crisis today.
“Militant nomadic herdsmen displaced by both insurgency and depleted resources have engaged in resource scramble with indigenous communities in Nigeria and some other parts of West Africa, leaving widespread killings and destruction in their trails.
“According to the Global Terrorism Index, militant herdsmen killed more people in Nigeria than Boko Haram in 2016 and over 2,500 people between 2012 and 2016.”
Ekweremadu welcomed Britain’s move to exit “the European Union marriage, which may have limited its ability to foster stronger ties, especially for economic prosperity, with Commonwealth nations.”
He called for a visa-free regime for Commonwealth member nations.
He also urged the Commonwealth to be more assertive in checking the excesses of some member states, which undermine democratic values with far-reaching consequences.
“Many conflicts and crises witnessed in many Commonwealth member states arise from a few individuals in power and those they consider as their people taking more than their fair shares. But, I believe the resurgent influence of the Commonwealth would help to keep leaders in check and promote human rights, rule of law and ‘inclusivity,’” Ekweremadu said.
Other speakers at the opening session, according to the statement, were the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland; Minister of State, United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Ahmad Wimbledon; and the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Hon. Emilia Lifaka.
– Source: The Punch, February 26, 2018

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