Herdsmen, Farmers Clash: Oyo Govt. Constitutes Committees To Address Issue

Abiola Ajimobi, Farmers, Herdsmen, OyoThe Oyo State government has set up stakeholder committees at both state and local government levels to address the crisis of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the state.

The Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Security, Mr Olusegun Abolarinwa, made the disclosure in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

Mr Abolarinwa highlighted the activities of the state government to avert the incessant clashes between the two groups.

“The state government does not have any policy on grazing zone yet, as the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is yet to make a pronouncement on nomadic rearing to be domesticated in all states.

“In the interim, the state government has taken proactive steps to constitute committees at both the state and local levels comprising security agencies, chairmen of local councils, farmers’ associations, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Seriki Hausawa, community leaders and relevant stakeholders in the community,” the governor’s aide stated.

He disclosed further that Senator Ajimobi has directed his Special Adviser on Community Relations, and his Senior Special Assistant on Security to address the crisis erupting in the religion sector.

The governor also asked them to tackle the community related crises at the Ibarapa area of the state, with specific instructions to meet with the aggrieved sects of farmers and the Fulani herdsmen.

Mr Abolarinwa explained that the crisis began when farmers allegedly laced their farms with poison in a bid to retaliate on the herdsmen whose cows purportedly destroyed their farmlands.

He, however, urged the aggrieved parties not to take laws into their hands, reiterating that the government has put adequate measures in place to strengthen the security of the state.

The security adviser hinted that some of the measures include: joint security patrol, procurement of armoured personnel carriers for the Oyo State Police Command, procurement of Hilux vehicles for security agencies and rendering various forms of assistance to the security agencies in the state.

He urged the people of the state to be security conscious by constituting themselves as watchmen in their neighbourhood.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Oyo State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun.

Gaidam Launches Annual Animal Vaccination Exercise In Yobe

Ibrahim Gaidam, Animal Vaccination, YobeYobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has launched the 2017 mass animal vaccination, targeting 2.42 million livestock across the 17 local government areas of the state.

Flagging off the exercise in Babangida the headquarters of Tarmuwa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, Governor Gaidam said that the exercise was aimed at checking cross boundary diseases across the state and beyond.

Represented by the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr Mustapha Gajerima, the Governor explained that with the dwindling revenue from the oil sector, the government needed to focus more on agriculture and livestock production.

With such vaccination, he was hopeful that the health of the people would further improve.

Governor Gaidam, who called for harmonious relationship between farmers and grazers, commended the Yobe Livestock Development Programme for mobilising the required animals for the exercise.

The programme manager, Dr. Mustapha Geidam, disclosed that 900 herds of cattle and other livestock were vaccinated at the launch, aimed at controlling outbreaks of animal diseases across Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.

Dr. Geidam stressed that the vaccination exercise would continue across the remaining 16 local governments and assured the residents that every animal in the state would get vaccinated.

He praised the state government for the support accorded the exercise and the community leaders for mobilising their subjects toward participating in the exercise.

The Yobe State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Mr Garba Mirwa, also applauded the state government for financing the programme.

He assured the Governor that that his members would participate fully in the exercise.

Kaduna Govt. Sets Aside 100mln Naira To Rebuild Destroyed Places Of Worship

Governor El-Rufai Tasks Traditional Rulers On Peace, SecurityThe Kaduna State government has set aside 100 million Naira for the rebuilding of churches and mosques that were destroyed during ethno-religious crisis between Fulani herdsmen and natives in the Southern part of the state

The state governor, ‘Mr Nasir El-Rufai, who announced the donation at the unveiling of public apology billboards by the 28 ethnic communities from Jemaa, Kachia, Kaura,Sanga and Zangon Kataf local government areas, said the gesture was part of efforts to restore lasting peace in the area.

Governor El-Rufai also announced that the government had drafted a bill to set up the Kaduna State Peace Commission that would enable inclusion of all citizens on plans for peaceful co-existence.

Although, killings in Southern part of Kaduna State can be traced back to the 80s, with the outbreak of the 1983 Kafanchan crisis, the number of deaths recorded in the area since the 2011 post-election violence has become very alarming and unabated.

Several communities in Sanga, Kaura, Jemaa and Kachia local government areas have been attacked by gunmen, with many people killed, villages razed and property worth millions of Naira destroyed.

Even though several measures have been put in place by the government and other stakeholders, the killings have continued.

It has been accusations and counter accusations between the natives and Fulani herdsmen whom they claimed were responsible for the deadly attacks.

Most often, the people accuse the government of not doing enough to curtail the attacks.

Early this year, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, waded into the crises by bringing all the warring parties together for dialogue.

In a move to restore peace to the area, a peacebuilding initiative was established with leaders of Southern Kaduna, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), and government officials led by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai holding talks in Samaru-Kataf.

Part of the initiative was the unveiling of public apology billboards, as a sign of another reconciliation between the Fulanis and the natives.

Governor El-Rufai in his speech, emphasised that apology and forgiveness remained key to achieving lasting peace in the state. He appealed to the various ethnic groups to respect each other, abide by the law and firmly reject division and violence.

“In the last few decades, the people of Southern Kaduna have suffered untold hardships due to incessant conflicts between and among various ethnic and religious communities, claiming many lives and displacing people.

“Various governments in the past, at both Federal and State levels, responded by instituting Commissions of Inquiry, holding peace conferences and implementing actions to enhance security. These efforts have not been enough to restore peace.

“It is clear that we must all go an extra mile to constructively engage with citizens and promote peaceful coexistence among our people.

We must also draw from experiences across the world: If violence was a solution to real or perceived grievances, the sheer number of lives lost, property destroyed and whole communities uprooted from their homes would have solved the problem long ago. Yet, despite decades of distrust that regularly explodes into violence, the problems remain. It has been said again and again that every war ends on the conference table. If that is the case, why must we kill ourselves before we realise the futility of violence?

“It is in pursuit of a policy of constructive engagement that the Kaduna State Government is adopting conflict resolution mechanisms by engaging all parties to work for peace. It is our belief that what cannot be obtained through peaceful means cannot be obtained through violence. We believe that genuine and sustainable peace will come when we accept that mistakes have been made on all sides. Accepting that mistakes have been made prepares the mind for an apology, and apologising for our transgressions prepares the ground for genuine forgiveness and reconciliation.

“Today we are here to launch a Public Apology Billboard, as we grief over the lives sadly taken in the recent violence in the Godogodo chiefdom. Why, our children ask, are we able to discuss peace for decades but not find it on the ground?

“Now, 29 ethnic communities of Southern Kaduna present a public apology billboard to us. These people represented their communities at the dialogues that resulted in the Kafanchan Peace Declaration. They were sent to represent their communities by their leaders. Wide consultation within their communities was carried out in selecting them. Their input and contribution to peace in Southern Kaduna has been crucial. Allow me to opine that leaders are not born and neither are they made.,”he said.

The Governor further commended the initiators of the peace deal, describing them as worthy citizens of the state.

“These group of resilient leaders drawn from different religions and ideologies have now been joined by many more, ordinary citizens, who are now going around Southern Kaduna, seeking the buy in of traditional elders, community and religious leaders, women, youth and the civil society to never again indulge in violence. They want to set up billboards across the five LGAs of Sanga, Kachia, Kaura, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf, at roundabouts, Schools and places of worship. Their message is that no ethnic group, ideology, religion or political party holds all the answers.

“These leaders are asking for innovative solutions from men and women across religious, ethnic and ideological divides.

“They are asking everyone to ignore those who incite violence but who live faraway from the places that suffer when strife breaks out, when schools, farms and markets close, when lives and limbs are brutally taken and property subjected to the brutality of arsonists and looters,” he told the gathering.

The high point of the event was the release of pigeons from a cage symbolising peace and reconciliation.

As the leaders depart from here, it is hoped that they will take the message to their kinsmen back home on the need for them to forgive each other, bury their differences and stop the bloodletting that has left the communities backward.

Miyetti Allah Threatened To Wage War Against Ekiti, Fayose Alleges

Ayodele Fayose, Miyetti Allah, EkitiEkiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has alleged that members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria have openly threatened to wage war against the government and people of the state.

Speaking at a press conference in Ado Ekiti, Governor Fayose purported that the Federal Government was yet to act in any manner, four days after the threat.

He stated further that the group also claimed that four cattle belonging to its member were killed by the newly inaugurated Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals.

The Governor, however, noted that 5,000 cows cannot be equated with humans which he said were being killed daily by the herdsmen across Nigeria.

He asked the group to be conscious that cattle farmers are not different from other farmers, insisting that they must abide by the laws of Ekiti State.

“Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria should know that cattle farmers are not different from other farmers.

“If they want to rear cows in Ekiti, they should do so in accordance with the laws of the state,” he said.

Troops Nab Suspected Cattle Rustlers In Plateau

Plateau, Cattle Rustlers, TroopsTroops have arrested five suspected cattle rustlers and recovered 22 sheep and 19 cows from the syndicate in Plateau State in north-central Nigeria.

The suspects were paraded on Friday by the Commander of the Operation Safe Haven, Major General Tagbo Ude, at the operation’s headquarters in Jos, the state’s capital.

Major General Ude said that investigations were ongoing with two suspects involved in the crime declared wanted by the security operatives.

The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria in Plateau State, Nura Mohammed, commended the Army for the recovery of the livestock.

He condemned the stealing of their cattle and the killing of a herds-boy by unknown attackers which prompted a petition to the government and security agencies.

In his response, Major-General Ude explained that the anti-cattle rustling operations of the military task force was able to trace the rustled cattle from Makaranta village of Langai district in Mangu Local Government Area of the state, and this led to the arrest.

So far, two cows have been slaughtered as the syndicate seemed to have a complete team that comprises the rustlers, a butcher and buyer of the cows, as well as the suya seller that roasts the stolen cows.

Herdsmen Attack: Miyetti Allah Asks Fayose To Show Statesmanship

Miyetti-Allah, Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti, HerdsmenThe Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has asked Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to show statesmanship over the recent alleged herdsmen attack on a community in his state.

The Secretary General of the Association, Baba Ngelzerma, made the appeal on Wednesday while reacting to the Governor’s ban on public grazing and cattle rearing in Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria.

“The statement that the Governor issued, I think he has to exercise some restraint (and) he has to show statesmanship on solving this issue,” he said.

Mr Ngelzerma said on Sunrise Daily that the association was making efforts to meet with Governor Fayose, adding that the association was in contact with its branch in Ekiti State over the matter.

He admitted that there were bad ones amongst them but urged the public not to put blames on the herdsmen until an investigation was conducted.

“Like every other community in Nigeria, we have our own criminals too but then, you cannot jump to conclusion and just apportion blame on a particular group even before an investigation is conducted,” he said.

One-sided Dissemination of Information
The Miyetti Allah Secretary General disclosed that the association had convened a meeting last week, to look at ways of solving the lingering crisis between the herdsmen and various communities across Nigeria.

Ngelzerma stressed that the media had a major role to play in solving the crises while he commended Channels Television for giving them the opportunity to tell their own side of the story.

He condemned the one-sided dissemination of information to the public, urging other broadcast organisations to emulate Channels Television and balance their stories.

Shekarau Visits Olu Falae

ShekarauThe need to ensure social justice for all has been identified as the panacea for ensuring the peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

A former Kano State Governor and Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Akure.

Shekarau was in Akure on a solidarity visit to elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae in his Akure country home over his abduction from his farm by suspected Fulani Herdsmen.

He maintained that the herdsmen should be well taken care of ‎and farmers also supported and guided, ensuring the interests of all are considered without one hindering the other.

Speaking earlier, Chief Olu Falae reiterated his stance on peace and peaceful resolution of crisis.

He added that his hope and prayer was that threat to human life and inter communal activities be ended in Nigeria.

Mallam Shekarau is the only political leader from the northern part of Nigeria that has visited Chief Falae since he regained his freedom from the kidnappers.

Olu Falae’s Abductors Are Not Herdsmen – DSS

falaeThe Department of State Services (DSS) has revealed that former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, was abducted by suspected criminals and not Fulani herdsmen.

This came on the back of the controversy surrounding the abduction of the former SGF.

The DSS paraded two suspects, Abdullahi Usman, the okada rider and Babawuro Kato, a cattle rearer who both confessed their involvement in the kidnap.

The agency expressed concern over the ethnic dimension the kidnap case has taken, insisting that the elder statesman was kidnapped by criminals.

Abdullahi Garba of the DSS asked Nigerians to shun attempts by mischief makers who have given the incident an ethnic colouration.

In the meantime, Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, known as Miyetti Allah, have asked the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere to withdraw the two weeks ultimatum issued to Fulani herdsmen living in the southwest over the recent kidnap of Chief Olu Falae.

The former SGF was kidnapped from his farm in Ondo State on Monday, September 21 with his abductors demanding for a cash sum of 100 million naira, later reduced to 90 million naira, as ransom.

President Muhammadu Buhari consequently directed the IGP and other security agencies to take all necessary action to ensure the safe and speedy rescue of the former SGF.

Chief Olu Falae, who is also a former presidential candidate, was released by his captors on Thursday, September 24.

Two weeks after his release, news broke that five of the eight abductors of the elder statesman had been nabbed in Niger, Ekiti and Ondo states by the Special Intelligence Team deployed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase.

Falae Abduction: Fulani Group Asks Afenifere To Withdraw Ultimatum

Falae Abduction: Fulani Group Asks Afenifere To Withdraw UltimatumThe Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has asked the Yoruba Socio-Cultural group, Afenifere, to withdraw the two weeks ultimatum issued to Fulani herdsmen living in the South-west over the recent kidnap of Chief Olu Falae by alleged Fulani herdsmen.

Addressing a news conference on Monday in Abuja, the National Secretary of the Association, Mr Baba Ngelzarma, condemned the recent abduction of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Mr Ngelzarma admitted that the kidnap of Falae was a criminal offence that must not be allowed to go unpunished by security agencies but noted that it was unfair to brand all Fulani herdsmen as criminals.

The group added that their members were also suffering from the activities of kidnappers who collect ransom from the herdsmen in addition to carting away their cattle.

The former SGF was kidnapped from his farm in Ondo State on Monday, September 21 with his abductors demanding for a cash sum of 100 million naira, later reduced to 90 million naira, as ransom.

President Muhammadu Buhari consequently directed the IGP and other security agencies to take all necessary action to ensure the safe and speedy rescue of the former SGF.

Chief Olu Falae, who is also a former presidential candidate, was released by his captors on Thursday, September 24.

Two weeks after his release, five of the eight abductors of the elder statesman were nabbed in Niger, Ekiti and Ondo states by the Special Intelligence Team deployed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase.