This Day (Lagos)

22 November 2012

Nigeria: Fulani Herdsmen Appeal to FG to Create Grazing Routes

The leadership of Miyette Allah Cattle Rearers Association, an umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen, has called on the Federal Government to create grazing routes for cattle rearers in the country as a solution to the lingering bloodbath between Fulani herdsmen and native Tiv farmers in Benue State.

Speaking with journalists in Makurdi the Benue State Capital, Wednesday, the secretary of the association in the state, Mallam Haruna Gololo, lamented incessant loss of lives in Benue communities arising from the Tiv/Fulani conflicts.

Gololo attributed the continued hostility between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Benue State to the non-challant attitude of the governors of Benue and Nasarawa States whom, he said, have not contributed to the recommendations submitted by the committee they set up to look into the matter.

He expressed regret that: "In spite of the killings and destruction of properties, the report of the committee which many hoped would give lasting solution to the crisis seems to have been shoved aside by both governments."

Gololo, who alleged that the recent killings in Benue State were not connected to the herdsmen, however blamed those he described as misinformed leaders on both the Tiv and Fulani sides for falsely alerting the people of impending attack from an enemy camp solely to frighten the people to run away so that their properties could be looted or destroyed by allies of those who are supposed to protect them.

The secretary equally castigated youths on both sides for neglecting important counsel from their Chiefs and Ardos to embark on raids, alleging that several ethnic groups have gone into the fight against the Tiv people.

He however said efforts were being made to forestall further crisis, disclosing that visiting Fulani herdsmen were now being registered by the Ardos (Chiefs) in the different local government areas to enable them have the identities of all visiting herdsmen in the state.

Gololo who lamented the death of several Fulanis in the crisis, expressed reservation with the appointment of a special adviser on Fulani matters by the Benue State government who is a Kanuri instead of Fulani.

In the last few year no fewer than 1,000 lives have been lost to persistent conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and native Tiv farmers which has defile amicable resolution.

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