Saturday 18 June 2022


 Between the 15th and 16th of June 2022, the Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations (FFARN) 'cum' SFCG conference was held in Abuja at the Wells Carlton Hotel, Asokoro. I have been a valued member of FFARN since inception. On the 15th of June, FFARN took stock of her activities so far (since 2017) when it was established as a forum of academics, practitioners and policy makers working towards the peaceful transformation of the farmer-herder conflict. FFARN members did their work at the conference with a view to making recommendations to the incoming administration in 2023 as regards what to do to mitigate conflict between farmers and herders.  

                Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ dinner (the Wells Carlton Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja)

About the Toolkit:

The Toolkit is labelled: 'Prepared for peace: A cross-cutting conflict transformation toolkit for conflict & violent extremism in Northern Nigeria'. I congratulate SFCG for employing the 'conflict transformation - CT' rather than the 'conflict resolution - CR' approach. I have a soft spot for the CT approach, the reasons why could detain us here...

                          L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & SFCG's CEO, Shamil Idriss @ dinner

The toolkit includes the three fields of practice: PVE, DDR and SPRR and the four sources of conflict: violent extremism, conflicts among farmers and herders, vigilantism & banditry. The seven objectives for developing the Toolkit are:

*Conflict Transformation
*Risk Management

For a breakdown of the seven concepts above, please read the original text on SFCG's website. Lest I forget: A little bird told me that the Toolkit had such a strong influence on its audience that members of FFARN, who were earlier winding down and putting finishing touches to their White Paper on the Farmer-Herder crisis to the incoming government of Nigeria, said they were prepared to spend a few more days studying the contents of the newly launched Toolkit, with a view to incorporating relevant aspects of same into the method of formulating the White Paper/subsequent Policy Briefs! So you see, a good product like the Toolkit has no hiding place.

However, in my opinion, the Toolkit should be simplified for the Northern Nigeria audience, for which it is meant. This should entail translating the Toolkit into Hausa with pictorial illustration for the benefit of un-lettered citizens. The maximum number of pages for such a 'democratised' version should be four pages instead of the current English version of 102 pages! Once again, I congratulate SFCG for blazing the trail in the field of conflict transformation in Northern Nigeria.

                                     Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the FFARN conference

                                                                        Dayo @ the dinner

                                                          Dayo outside the conference hall




The 14th of June 2022 was another day when a critical mass of the populace took stock of the low level of involvement of women and youth in the political process in Nigeria. The 'x-ray' was under the auspices of the Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria (CCSN) powered by the able leadership of the Convener, Engr. Adams Otaku. The thrust of the clarion call was for Political Parties to field women and youths as running mates in the 2023 elections.

Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Mrs. Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi (MD DoxaDigital & FCT Senatorial candidate for the APC @ the just concluded 2022 Primaries)

About two months ago, the Nigeria Women Trust Fund (NWTF) challenged the Federal Government in Court and got judgement to the effect that the stipulated 35% affirmative action be respected at all levels of government. The implication of this is that in every establishment women should constitute at least 35% of the employed or appointed. Obviously, this has not been effected in Nigeria.

Conference banner

According to Adams Otakwu,we should note that of all the Political Parties, none fielded a female standard bearer for the Presidential slot. Less than 5% of gubernatorial candidates are women, while over 95% are men. Less than 10% of candidates for the Federal Parliament are women, while 90% are men. Less than 20% of state Parliaments are women, while 80% are men.

These figures fall far below the global average. In other climes, women constitute about 23% of the seats in Parliament according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union data. These abysmal statistics make it clear that the current process of recruitment into politics is skewed towards failure. Humanity cannot continue to walk on one leg, that of men.

All hands must be on deck to ensure the inclusion of women, youth, PWDs and other vulnerable groups in the political process...

Friday 10 June 2022


The Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD) held a two-day dialogue on the current dynamics of the farmer-herder crisis in North-West Nigeria between the 7th and 8th of June 2022. The dialogue was held at Hotel 2020, Wuye, Abuja. Specifically, the dialogue was to formulate/articulate a plan of action for the incoming administration at all levels of government - federal, state and local government as regards the strengthening of farmer-herder relations in North-West Nigeria. 

Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa with the Emir of Argungu (Kebbi state), HRH Samaila Muh'd Mera, CON on the first day of the dialogue...

*HRH Samaila Muh'd Mera, CON - Emir of Argungu, Kebbi state

*Dr. Kwasari - SA to the President on Agriculture

*Samuel Aruwan - Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security & Home Affairs

*Ms. Khadija Gambo - Permanent Commissioner, Kaduna State Peace Commission

*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Modibo Adamawa University of Technology, Yola

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist/Gender Specialist, Abuja

*Dr. Bakut tswah Bakut - DG Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR)

*Prof. Jude Momodu - Modibo Adamawa University of Technology, Yola

*Dr. James Barnett - Researcher on the CDD book project

*Barr. Yusuf Anka - Researcher on the CDD book projct

*Dr. Saeed Husaini - Research Fellow, CDD

*Dr. Aishatu Yushau Armiyau - Psychiatrist @ Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi

After intensive deliberation and exhaustive debate, the following recommendations were made for mitigating the farmer-herder crisis in North-West Nigeria.

*The herders need to be listened to more. They need to further articulate their position vis-a-vis their own perception of the farmer-herder crisis and mitigation of same.

*There should be specific sanctions for 'ethnic profiling' in the farmer-herder crisis. This should entail a proper definition and agreement on what constitutes ethnic profiling.  

*There should be sanctions for impunity.

*State capacity needs to be beefed up in order to ensure that the preponderance of the use of force remains with the state and not in the hands of non-state actors. In this regard, small arms & light weapons (SALWs) need to be mopped up more effectively.

*Politics determines the economy, and by extension social relations (including farmer-herder relations). The selection process into the political space in Nigeria needs to be further interrogated in order to keep prebendalism (money politics), corruption, weaponising of religion/identity.

*The intersection between the farmer-herder crisis and banditry, kidnapping, abduction,etc needs to be further interrogated in order to sever this unholy alliance that keeps fueling the crisis.

*The influx of various ideological groups - ISWAP, ISIS, etc. needs to be focused upon. The tend to finance the crisis on a big scale while exacerbating same.

*The positive role of traditional leaders in the crisis cannot be overemphsised. A clearer mention of their mediatory/conciliatry role could be inserted into the Constitution.

*Ungoverned spaces need to be harnessed for better management, which should include effective community policing.

*Federal Government's NLTP programme needs to be expanded beyond the pilot states for more effective and efficient trickle down effect of the benefits of the concept for mitigating farmer-herder crisis.

*ADR and traditional methods of conflict transformation need to be deployed for effective management of the farmer-herder crisis.

*The Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN) needs a higher level of visibility to be able to impartially intervene further in the crisis from the civil society view point.

*The gender dimensions need to be brought to the fore. Women feel the pinch of the farmer-herder crisis differently from men. For example, women become heads of households when their husbands and grown up sons are killed in the crisis. Raped women/girls, traumatised men/boys need psycho-social support which psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers,etc can provide.

*The criminal justice system, where corruption allows an innocent citizen to be substituted for a criminal in Correctional Centres needs to be properly investigated and indeed stopped in order to stop impunity in its tracks.

The recommendations above are not exhaustive. The conversation continues on the corridors, at crucial formal and informal meetings...



The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (SCDDD) inaugurated its 'Council of the Wise' with a national dialogue on the Leadership Effectiveness & Accountability Dialogue (LEAD) Project in Abuja on the 6th of June 2022. I was a valued participant at the event. The two partners of SCDDD were MacArthur Foundation and Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC). Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, OFR, CFR, President of the Court of Appeal (Rtd) is the Chair of the Council. The keynote speaker was Rev. Fr. (Dr) George Ehusani, Executive Director, Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, Abuja. Obinna Simon, (M.C. Kazuaye) and Comedian/President Muhammadu Buhari's look alike, is the represemtative of the youth on the Council.

                                     Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the venue of the dialogue

Some of the participants are:

*Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa - President Court of Appeal (Rtd)

*Amb. Sani Bala - ED SCDDD & Wamban Katsina

*Dr. Kole Shettima - Africa Director, MacArthur Foundation

*Barr. Clement Nwankwo ED Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)

*Rev. Fr. (Dr) George Ehusani - ED, Lux Terra Foundation, Abuja/Keynote Speaker

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist/Gender Specialist, Abuja

*Barr. Ayo Obe - Former President, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO)

*Ms. Ann Kio Briggs - Founder, Agape Birthright(s)

*Chief Ezenwa Nwagwu - Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform (PER)

Photo 2nd L-R: Prof. Remi Sonaiya (Former Presidential Candidate)/Member of Council, Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa (Retired President of the Court of Appeal)/Chair of Council

SCDDD shall provide all the logistics necessary to ensure the success of the Council in the onerous task of 'fostering national unity' bestowed on it. Please join me in wishing the Council of the Wise all the very best in this labour of love...