Prince Charles vis­its Nige­ria to­mor­row, to ad­dress herds­men at­tacks

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - PANORAMA -

THE Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner to Nige­ria, Paul Ark­wright, yes­ter­day an­nounced in Abuja that Prince Charles would en­gage in peace-build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing ad­dress­ing the per­sis­tent at­tacks of herds­men on farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Nige­ria. The Prince of Wales and his wife, Princess Camilla, the Duchess of Corn­wall, are ex­pected in Nige­ria from Novem­ber 6 to 8 in a high pro­file visit dur­ing which the royals would also have au­di­ence with Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari at the Pres­i­den­tial Villa.

Speak­ing with the News Agency of Nige­ria (NAN) ahead of the visit, Ark­wright said one of the events on the agenda was for the prince to dis­cuss prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to al­le­vi­at­ing the ten­sions, aris­ing from the ac­tiv­i­ties of herds­men. Herds­men have launched a deadly on­slaught on farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Nige­ria in re­cent years, rais­ing con­cerns over the fu­ture of agri­cul­ture in a na­tion, hav­ing ma­jor­ity of its pop­u­lace en­gaged in sub­sis­tence agri­cul­ture.

“Peo­ple do want to come to­gether and if we can pro­vide that kind of en­vi­ron­ment then hope­fully, we can come up with some ideas and so­lu­tions to re­solv­ing some of these con­flicts. Some of the is­sues like the farm­ers/herders cri­sis are deep-rooted and are about the econ­omy, land re­source, cli­mate change and cul­tural is­sues. The Prince of Wales will be look­ing at the causes, talk­ing to peo­ple who are work­ing in this area and to­gether, see­ing if we can find so­lu­tions and move on.”

Ark­wright said ad­dress­ing the root causes of con­flicts would lead to a peace­ful and more pros­per­ous Nige­ria and also be­come ben­e­fi­cial to the re­la­tions be­tween Nige­ria and Bri­tain. He noted that the visit was also aimed at strength­en­ing the ex­ist­ing ties be­tween Nige­ria and Bri­tain as mem­bers of the Com­mon­wealth.

The prince, who took over as the Head of the 53-mem­ber Com­mon­wealth of Na­tions last April, suc­ceed­ing his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has al­ready vis­ited 44 African na­tions. “Prince Charles has not been here since the past 12 years. 2006 was the last time he was here and the Duchess of Corn­wall, has never been to Nige­ria. So it is about strength­en­ing ties, par­tic­u­larly peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties. We want to en­sure that through the Com­mon­wealth, which is an­other theme of the prince’s visit, we develop links to develop re­la­tion­ships whether in trade, en­vi­ron­ment or in ed­u­ca­tion, all of which are im­por­tant to the fu­ture of the Com­mon­wealth and to the fu­ture of Nige­ria.”

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