From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Fulani Socio-cultural Association, has listed conditions and measures that government and communities must take to restore lasting peace, unity and tolerance among farmers and herders in various troubled communities across the country.
The conditions were contained in a communique released at the end of the expanded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday, under the leadership of the National President of the Association, Alhaji Bello Bodejo.
National Secretary of the Association, Saleh Alhassan, who presented the communique to journalists at a press conference in Abuja, said the NEC, at the meeting, harvested and considered reports submitted from different states on issues that concerns the Fulani pastoralists and arrived at some suggestions that would, perhaps, herald lasting peace and unity among several communities in Nigeria.
He said the leadership of the association identified the need for immediate designation, gazzeting and development of all 415 grazing reserves across the states of the federation as the only first strategic step in addressing the challenges confronting Fulani herders in Nigeria.
He said NEC also suggested that such step should include building of earth dams and solar boreholes, building of veterinary clinics, development of diary (milk) collection centres, among several others.
They demanded an end to the alleged continuous profiling of Fulani pastoralists, particularly by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, through his satanic anti-grazing law that has allegedly been used to conficate and auction millions of cattle belonging to Fulanis in Benue – Nasarawa and Benue – Taraba boarder communities.
The association warned about imminent self-help option if the Inspector General of Police fail to set up a panel to unmasked those responsible for the alleged genocidal massacre of Fulani pastoralists in Taraba State and ensure justice is done to the victims’ families.
They dismissed the consistent claims of farmers- herders conflicts as major setback of instability and insecurity in Nigeria, stressing that the conflicts are exacerbated by alleged activities of states-sponsored vigilantes and tribal hordes who wilfully continue to carryout extra judicial killings of Fulani pastoralists.
They, however, presented a request to the Federal Government demanding the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Nomadic Affairs whose mandate would be to broaden educational opportunities and address pastoralist challenges across the country.
They observed the need for overhauling of Nigeria security and justice systems to address cases of injustices and access to justice by pastoralist as many of the Fulani youths are languishing in detention centres across the country.
Regarding the 2023 general elections, the president of the Association confirmed that the political awareness and mobilisation directorate of the association has been directed to embarked on massive enlightenment campaigns and voters’ education among Fulani pastoralists to massively participate in the forthcoming general elections.