In a bid to proffer a lasting solution to the incessant crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the Northern region,the Northern States Governors[NSGF] and Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria have agreed to meet next week to tackle the disturbing crisis in the affected areas.
Niger State Governor,Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the forum on Thursday commenced talks with leaders of the state’s chapter of Miyetti Allah in Minna as a fore-runner to a larger meeting which will be called by the forum next week.
During the meeting, “members of the forum and leaders of the Fulani Cattle breeders Association will fashion out strategies to address the disturbing state of insecurity in the region and proffer practical and enduring solutions”.
Specifically, Miyetti Allah would work closely with Governors to unmask criminals who masquerade as cattle breeders to inflict mayhem on innocent citizens.
“The objective of the parley between Northern Governors and Miyetti Allah is to engender the restoration of the most desired peaceful co-existence, unity and development in the entire region,” according to a statement by Governor Aliyu’s chief press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo.
The decision to dialogue with Miyetti Allah was taken at the last meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) during which governors of the 36 states of the federation constituted a panel headed by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State. It is to handle reconciliation, healing, peace and security within the troubled region
The governors are expected to collectively push for a national policy to settle nomads and provide adequate grazing reserves and cattle routes, since not many states have been spared of the assaults on persons and institutions by insurgents suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
Speaking at the end of Thursday’s meeting, Chairman of Miyetti Allah in Niger State, Alhaji Ismaila Ahmed Rebe lamented the loss of human lives occasioned by incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers and urged governments at both state and federal levels to take immediate steps to set aside dedicated areas of land for pastoral use.
Rebe said the lack of proper demarcation of grazing fields for herdsmen and the non adoption of a comprehensive pastoral resource development programme were major causes of constant friction between farmers and herdsmen especially in the Northern parts of the country.
The North has been reeling under the violence unleashed by the fundamentalist group, Boko Haram and bandits who masquerade as fulani herdsmen.