Farmers/Herdsmen Crises: Presidential Committee Seeks Lasting Solution
The Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has encouraged the Presidential Committee on the Farmer/Herdsmen Crises to look beyond the attacks being perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen as there could be more than meets the eye.
He spoke during a meeting in the late hours of Sunday when the Presidential Sub- Committee on the Farmers/ Herdsmen Crises set up by Vice President Yomi Osinbajo visited the State on a fact finding mission aimed at resolving the farmer/herdsmen crises in the State.
According to Ishaku, government was in the habit of taking ‘rash decisions’ which was not helpful and cited the case of Boko Haram attacks where action was only taken when the Emir of Kano was attacked sometime ago. He therefore urged the committee to look further than what was seen.
Ishaku then thanked the vice president for setting up the committee and promised to present it with a catalogue of the crises since 2015 adding that most of the gazetted places had been populated or demarcated for various uses.
While speaking during the meeting, Chairman of the sub committee and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, described the speculations that the government was considering cattle colonies and ranches as false and therefore condemned the killings in Taraba, describing it as ‘most unfortunate’. He then corroborated that fact by reading the vice president’s message on the matter to the audience which included traditional rulers, party stalwarts, members of the executive and legislature, youth organisations, local council chairmen among others.
Umahi quoted the Vice President, saying “no land would be forcefully taken for ranching” even as he disclosed that those involved in the Gboko killings have been arrested.
The sub-committee on farmer/herdsmen crises was part of the main committee recently set-up by the National Economic Council headed by Vice president Yomi Osinbajo. It is chaired by Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari.
Meanwhile, stakeholders at the late night meeting identified the causes of the clashes and their solutions.
First to speak was Emir of Muri, Abbas Tafida, who attributed high level of ignorance, failure of policing and the legal system, leadership failure and excesses of the media to be the causes of the crises.
On his own part, the State ALGON Chairman, Stephen Ibrahim Agya, blamed the security agents for its failure to protect the local people. Narrating the experiences at his local government area, Kurmi, Agya stated that the security agencies must protect the people from invading herdsmen whom he described as Aliens.
In the same vein, Dr Alfred Yahaya Kobiba, who represented the Yandang community also revealed that those herdsmen were Aliens who might have been hired to attack communities in Lau LGA. Kobiba, who is the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), belong to the community in Lau LGA where 68 innocent persons were killed last year by suspected herdsmen. According to him, the government should establish a military garrison in the area in order to avert future reoccurrence, even as he said the ranching system should be established in the state.