The leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani Socio-cultural Association, on Monday listed conditions and measures that government and communities must take to restore lasting peace, unity and tolerance among farmers and herders in various troubled communities across the country.
One of the conditions is the need for immediate designation, gazetting and development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the states.
This was contained in the communique released at the end of the expanded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, on Monday, under the leadership of the National President of the Association, Alhaji Bello Bodejo.
According to the herdsmen, the designation, gazetting and development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the states of the Federation is the only first strategic step in addressing the challenges confronting Fulani herders in Nigeria.
National Secretary of the Association, Saleh Alhassan, who presented the communique to journalists at a press conference in Abuja, on Monday, said the NEC, at the meeting, harvested and considered reports submitted from different states on issues that concerns the Fulani pastoralists and arrived at some suggestions that would, perhaps, herald lasting peace and unity among several communities in Nigeria.
He said the NEC also suggested that such steps should include the building of earth dams and solar boreholes, the building of veterinary clinics, development of dairy (milk) collection centres, among several others.
Secondly, they demanded an end to the alleged continuous profiling of Fulani pastoralists, particularly by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, through his “satanic” anti-grazing law that has allegedly been used to confiscate and auction millions of cattle belonging to Fulanis in Benue- Nasarawa and Benue-Taraba border communities.
The Association warned about imminent self-help options if the Inspector General of Police failed to set up a panel to unmask those responsible for the alleged genocidal massacre of Fulani pastoralists in Taraba State and ensure justice is done to the victims’ families.
They dismissed the consistent claims of farmers-herders conflicts as a major setback of instability and insecurity in Nigeria, stressing that the conflicts are exacerbated by alleged activities of states-sponsored vigilantes and tribal hordes who willfully continue to carry out extra-judicial killings of Fulani pastoralists.
They, however, presented a request to the Federal Government demanding the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Nomadic Affairs whose mandate will be to broaden educational opportunities and address pastoralist challenges across the country.
They observed the need for overhauling Nigeria’s security and justice systems to address cases of injustices and access to justice by pastoralists as many of the Fulani youths are languishing in detention centres across the country.
Regarding the 2023 general elections, the President of the Association confirmed that the Political Awareness and Mobilisation Directorate of the Association have been directed to embark on massive enlightenment campaigns and voters’ education among Fulani pastoralists to massively participate in the forthcoming general elections.
He said: “In few weeks to come, we would hold a peaceful rally to take a position on our choice candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections. Meanwhile, our people have been mobilised to register and obtain their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) ahead of the elections.”
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