Fulani herders in Taraba State have pledged to weed out criminal elements among them within five months.
They made the pledge in a communique issued after a meeting that lasted for several hours and attended by herders and their leaders from 14 local government areas of the state.
The meeting, which was held at the palace of the Emir of Muri in Jalingo, the state capital, was also attended by security adviser to Governor Darius Ishaku and other security agents.
The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Taraba State chapter, Sahabi Tukur, who read the communique, said Fulani herdsmen including their leaders have agreed not to harbour criminals even if they were their sons or close relations.
He said criminals would be identified and those that repent would be documented, while those that refuse to turn over a new leaf would be handed over to security agents.
He noted that the task was onerous but necessary to sanitise the Fulani herdsmen and restore their image caused by criminal activities perpetrated by some of them.
The chairman assured the emir that all Fulani herdsmen in the state were in full support of any action that could remove all criminal elements in their midst.
The emir had, in a meeting with Fulani leaders last week, ordered them to weed out criminals amongst them.
Responding to the commitment of the herdsmen, the emir said the order had become imperative given the increasing rate of kidnapping being committed by some Fulani herdsmen.
He said as a leader who stood firm on the side of truth and honesty, he would never condone injustice among his subjects.
The emir lamented that the images of the Fulani as a race was damaged by the act of a few among them that indulged in kidnapping and other criminal activities.
He cautioned that the people should not misunderstand his order, which, he said, was intended to sanitize the conduct of Fulani herdsmen, who are his kinsmen.
The emir stated that his action was like that of a father taking harsh action against his children when he discovered that they were doing wrong.
He commended the leadership of the Fulani for taking the bold steps to weed out criminals among them and directed that a list of those that repented and those that refused to repent should be submitted to him.