Group warns of possible herders/farmers clashes in Plateau

A group under the aegis of the Northern Youths Assembly of Nigeria (NYAN), has warned that relative peace enjoyed in Plateau State may be truncated following recent activities of some herdsmen  in the northern part of the state.

The group in a statement signed by its  speaker, North Central, Audu Yibeikas, implored the state government to act fast  and  check the activities of Fulani cattle rearers in some parts of Plateau State before they snowball into crisis.

According to the youth group,  for some time now there have been persistent activities of herdsmen in Jol of Riyom and Sho in Barkin Ladi local government areas, respectively adding that this had led to pockets of provocations and disagreements between herdsmen and farmers in the areas.

Indeed, Riyom and Barakin Ladi local councils have been theatres of conflict between the itinerant Fulani herdsmen and their Berom hosts since 2008, leading to loss of lives and destruction of property.

It pointed out that  such activities, included cases of cattle grazing in a farmer’s dry season farm (Lambu), cattle grazing in the reserved grave sites of the ancestors of the community, forceful intimidation of farmers with violence and death; taking over of native settlements by herdsmen who have now built houses on native bush farms without regard for those who were displaced from the areas; illegal mining activities without respect for the traditional institution in place and also intimidation of native miners.

Yibeikas said that relative peace being enjoyed between farmers and herdsmen across the entire North Central was more like a time bomb, adding that the challenges in  some IDP camps (resulting from herdsmen versus farmers violence), within the North Central were deplorable.

“We wish to draw the Attention of the Federal Government, and most importantly, the Plateau Peace Building Agency, Plateau State House of Assembly and the Office of the Executive Governor of Plateau State to recent incidents at Jol (Riyom LGA) and Sho (Barkin Ladi LGA).