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Delta monarchs ban cattle grazing in their communities

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief and Owen Akenzuwa (Asaba)   |   18 October 2016   |   3:15 am

Fulani Herdsmen

Fulani Herdsmen

Southern Kaduna indigenes blame Godogodo attack on govt’s neglect

Traditional rulers in Aniocha North local council of Delta State yesterday banned Fulani herdsmen from grazing on farmlands in their communities. This decision was taken at a meeting between the traditional rulers, leaders of Fulani herdsmen and the authorities of the local council.

The meeting was headed by the council boss, Mr. Oseme Chukwugoziem.The monarchs lamented the wanton destruction of food and cash crops in their communities by cattle. They urged Fulani leaders in the state to caution their kinsmen in the area against kidnapping, rape and other crimes allegedly committed by herdsmen.

They advised Fulani herdsmen to disarm, saying there was no reason to move around with guns while pasturing their cattle.The council boss said the meeting was organised to promote peace and unity in the area.

“We do not want killings, rape and destruction of our farm crops any more,” he said.Chukwugoziem asked the Fulani herdsmen to nominate two or three persons to act as their representatives in the local council. He said these people would be held liable if there is a breach in the ban imposed on grazing in the area.

The leaders of Cattle Breeders Association in the South-South, Alhaji Haruna Abubakar, Abdulsalam Abubakar and Lawal Imam commended the council chairman for the meeting, which they said was the first in the state.

They, however, said the crimes usually linked to herdsmen were committed by Fulani from Niger, Cameroun and other neighbouring countries.Meanwhile, indigenes of Southern Kaduna have blamed the attack on their communities by Fulani herdsmen on neglect by the federal and Kaduna State governments.

They condemned the recent attack on Godogodo in Jama’a local council where several lives were lost.A statement by officials of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SUKAPO) said: “The people of Godogodo, Jama’a and Sanga councils as well as the entire people of Southern Kaduna have been abandoned and totally neglected by the authorities at the federal and state levels and left to be maimed, raped, brutalised and killed by the enemies of this areas.”

The President of SOKAPU, Mr. Solomon Musa, lamented the non-response of the government to the plight of Southern Kaduna people. He said: “Godogodo communities once again came under fierce attack by Fulani herdsmen without provocation from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.

“This is despite the frantic calls for help from the villagers to those constitutionally saddled with the task of safeguarding the citizens. The invaders wreaked havoc and destruction, killing scores of people. So far, the residents have been able to identify not less than 40 corpses apart from numerous others burnt beyond recognition.

“Almost all the houses in Godogodo have been burnt. Property worth millions of naira were destroyed. Yet, governments at the federal and state levels were unconcerned. We have been abandoned and neglected.”

Musa added: “SOKAPU is also curious that the attacks on villages in Godogodo started since May 2016 but has been left to linger despite the government’s explanation that it spends N200 million monthly on security in the state.”

According to him: “From the previous attacks on Sanga local council to the current one in Godogodo towns is an indication that cattle rustling gulped more of the monthly N200 million supposedly meant for security in the state than on marauding armed herdsmen in Southern Kaduna.

“The Tutsis were neglected during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 until over 800,000 of them were massacred by the Hutus. This is the scenario in Southern Kaduna. We are being killed by Fulani herdsmen, yet the government has failed to intervene to end the carnage.”

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