By: Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Worried by the incessant destruction of farmland and the attendant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in Kogi State, traditional rulers,farmers and critical stakeholders have appealed to the Federal government to find lasting solution to the perennial crisis .
The appeal was made at the stakeholders meeting on Security held at Kogi State Police Command headquarters In Lokoja, calling on the federal and state governments to taken drastic action to forestall perennial squabble and ensure that peace reign between the fulani herdsmen and various host communites in the county.
The clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Kogi State have taken a dangerous dimensions in the recent post as it has degenerated claims and counter claims, threat to lives, death of cows, herdsmen and farmers in some cases.
In Yagba West Local government area of the
State, the farmers and Fulani cattle rearers are always at loggerhead over the destruction farm land by cow, this it was gathered has brought about bad relationship between them and their host communities.
Western Post gathered that no fewer than 14 cows had died following destruction of farmland and the farmer was subsequently arrested over the incident.
While speaking at the stakeholders meeting on Security,the Traditional ruler of Dekina, the Ejeh of Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje has urged the Federal government to as matter of urgency find lasting solution to the perennial clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in their host communities in Kogi state.
The Royal Father who explained that he was on the top of security situation in his domain as ex- police officer, but quick to highlight some of lackadaisical attitude that always lead to crisis between the two parties.
He stated that the Fulanis, though have been living peacefully for several years, noting that the children are being used to do the grazing and are too young to control the large number of cows.
Alhaji Obaje therefore admonished the Maiyetti. Allah Cattle Breaders Association of Nigeria to prevail on the Fulani herdsmen in the in the State to allow the senior among them to do grazing rather than their Children.
Also speaking, Personal Assistance to the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland and Afehima of Eika, Alhaji M. S.Isah lamented the Fulani are human beings, saying people can not do away with Fulani herdsmen because they rear cow for meet.
Isah however stressed that the people are not happy with the way herdsmen rear their cows in Kogi central without a recourse for destruction farmland and crops and leaving the farmers at receiving end
He disclosed that the way and manner in which the cows destroyed farm lands and crop could not be.quantified, adding that last solution must be sought to ensure peaceful co- existence between the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers in their host commmunities.
In his own contribution, the State Secretary of Maiyetti Allah Cattle breaders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Suleiman Mohammed told the gathering that they have been living in Kogi State for quite some times and have been contributing postively socio-economic growth of the stated.
He’d stressed that despite thiis, the flanks are being mistreated in parts of the three senatorial Districts in the State, particularly Kogi East where it was alleged to have been hostile to the Fulani horsemen.
Mohammed noted that in Omala local government area of the State no fewer than 48 cows were killed and four horsemen also lost their lives in the crisis that ensued,adding that such was the ordeal the Fulani cattle rearers are subjected to in other part of Zone.
He commended the State Commissioner of Police, CP Wilson Inalegwu for recognizing the Maiyetti Allah security out fit who is currently assisting the security to stem down the tide of crimes among the Fulani.
Mohammed pointed out that the Commissioner has provided a patrol van which has been helping to curb crimes in their various localities.
He appealled that the host communities to allow peace to reign, stating that fulanis are human beings and be treated as such.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Shuaib Lawal Gambo told the gathering that the federal government was not leaving any stone unturned, noting that the government fashioning out tHe way to handlie the issue of Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes.
Gambo commended the Stakeholders for cooperating with Kogi State Police command to work effectively
He explained that the purpose of the Stakeholders meeting was to enable the people of an environment to interact, noting that particularly to discuss security related issues with a view to finding lasting solution to them.