14 January 2013

Nigeria: Community Leader Appeals for Land to Resettle Fulani Herdsmen

A community leader in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Madawakin Hausawa of Abuja, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Sa'idu, has appealed to the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to allocate a portion of land where Fulani herdsmen and their families in the FCT would be resettled.

Bello made the appeal when he visited the displaced Fulani community in the Fulani/Gwari clash at Gwako in Gwagwalada area council, at their temporary camp at the permanent site of the University of Abuja.

Recall that two persons were killed in a clash between the two tribes about a fortnight ago.

He blamed lawmakers representing the FCT in the National Assembly for the crisis, accusing them of rebuffing all efforts by the FCT minister to engender lasting peace between the two warring communities.

"I recall that prior to the 2011 election, the current FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, invited all stakeholders, including representatives of Hausa-Fulani and the Gbagyis to a meeting with a view to resolving, once and for all, the recurring ugly incidents between us and the Gbagyis.

"During that meeting, while speaking on behalf of my people, I appealed to the minister to urgently allocate a portion of land where the Fulani herdsmen and their families in the FCT can finally be re-settled, in order to bring about lasting peace between the two clashing parties because this is the FCT which belongs to all Nigerians and all eyes are on us to finally end this recurring crisis.

"The minister thereafter directed that after the election the current members representing the Gbagyis in the Senate and House of Representatives, in the persons of Zephaniah Jisalo and Phillip Aduda, should come with us for another meeting in his office whereby that goal can be actualised but after the election the legislators rebuffed all attempts to get across to them for us to meet with the minister to address the issue. Since that time, anytime I call them on their mobile phones they refuse to answer my calls so I stopped calling them," he said.

He further noted that one time minister of the FCT, Alh Abba Gana had during his tenure, made efforts to allocate about four plots of land where the Hausa-Fulani would be resettled but added that since he left office, there had been no follow-up with subsequent FCT ministers to finalise the land allocation, which, according to him, made it appear like the Gbagyis did not want the Hausa-Fulani to have a voice in the FCT.

The Madawakin Hausawa also cautioned his kinsmen to live in peace with their Gbagyi neighbours and desist from unnecessary provocation of the Gbagyi farmers, saying, "It is not a good thing that after the Gbagyi farmers have finished planting their crops n their farms, the Fulani herdsmen bring their cattle to graze in those farmlands without their consent."

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