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‘Explore dialogue to resolve herdsmen/ farmers crisis’


Decry Killings In Oyo, Zamfara

Arewa leaders, under the aegis of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), have appealed to Federal, State Governments and community leaders to explore dialogue among the warring Fulani herdsmen and farmers across the country, in resolving the crisis in some parts of the country, so as to preserve the unity and peaceful coexistence among all interest groups in Nigeria.

Besides, it condemned the recent killings of 12 herdsmen by suspected farmers at Okere in Iseyin Local Council of Oyo State and the killings of 41 people in Birane of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara state by armed bandits.

The National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, while reacting to the attack and killings in Oyo and Zamfara States, yesterday, said: “The reported killing of 12 herdsmen by suspected local farmers at Okere in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State and another 14 others declared missing on the allegation that a farmer found dead in his farm was suspected to have been killed by herdsmen, is disturbing and worrisome.”

Arewa leaders, however, commended “the action taken by the Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Oyo State chapter, by appealing to their members not to embark on any reprisal attack, but urged the Police to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice.”

According to Alhaji Biu, “this is the most civilized way of handling such misunderstanding and not through the avoidable clashes we have recently witnessed in some parts of the country”, pointing out that “ ACF therefore appeals to all concerned to always employ dialogue as the best means to settling all disputes, given that disputes are natural concomitant of mechanism of community living.”

The spokesman of the Arewa leaders argued: “What is important is ability to reduce disputes to the minimum. The violent clashes that have led to loss of lives and destruction of property have not been helpful to our corporate existence as a united and peaceful nation. Most of all, they are internecine.

“ACF, therefore, urges the security agencies to be more proactive in their operations in order to avert these unnecessary clashes while the community leaders should also play their roles of mediation and providing intelligence to the security agencies. ACF extends its condolences to the bereaved families, the affected communities and government, and urges them to seek justice using due process of law courts.”

On the unfortunate incident in Zamfara State, Alhaji Biu stated that “the killing of 41 innocent people by armed bandits in Birane of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara state is most unfortunate and barbaric”, adding that “the bloodletting in the state in a form bandits attacks and herders/farmers clashes has assumed a dangerous dimension which must be tackled head-on by the security agencies.”

He said: “Federal Government’s decision to deploy troops to troubled states is, therefore, a welcome development. ACF extends its condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families and the government of Zamfara state over this ugly incident. ACF also urges the security agencies and the community leaders to synergize in order to avert these unnecessary killings of innocent souls by bandits.”

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