Worried by the incessant violent clashes between herders and farmers in some parts of the country which have led to the loss of many lives, a concerned group of elders in Bauchi State has called for a deep reflection and amicable solutions to the clashes being.
The call was contained in a position paper jointly signed by some Fulani elders, led by a veteran administrator and politician, Alhaji Aliyu Umar Misau popularly called AU Misau and seven others after a meeting that was held at his residence in Bauchi last weekend.
According to the Position paper, the meeting was held in order to discuss the conflict being witnessed between farmers and herders across the country noting that although the federal government’s effort is paying off in its effort to restore peace and ensure security in parts of the country particularly the North East sub-region, some laws being enacted, like the Open Grazing Law is infringing on the rights of some people.
The paper reads in parts, ”The meeting equated grazing with all other sources or means of livelihood. Members of states that send down their product to other states or go to other states looking for jobs either in the labour markets or other means of survival are also grazers”.
It further contained that, “The grazers who are being chased away from other lands are Nigerians and the constitution of this country gives them protection. The fundamental human rights charter of the United Nations is being violated, but as those affected are ordinary nomads, it seems their situation is simply not appreciated.”
The meeting, therefore, calls on the federal government and other authorities at all levels to take appropriate actions to address the challenges posed by the conflict.
It also urged the National Assembly to take action through legislation to stop states from enacting discriminatory legislation against any group or persons.
The meeting also called on government at all levels to set up committees that will mediate between the groups while taking drastic measures to arrest and prosecute people fuelling the crisis.
The elders according to the paper stressed that “Meanwhile, the various herder’s associations should intensify their efforts towards educating their members on the need for patience and peace. They should reconcile with the farming communities because peace is relevant for all of them”.
It added, “Our traditional rulers should intensify their efforts towards making sure that peace reigns in their domains. They are already trying but those areas where crises are occurring, their rulers should be queried and if found involved, the government should do something about their failures.”
The paper also urged religious leaders to intensify their efforts as well as prayers for prayers stating, “We all believe in God either as Muslims or Christians where our religions preach peace and love, there should be no reasons for conflicts and killings.”
Other signatories to the position paper include; the Bauchi State Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Sadiq Ibrahim, Alkali Bello Waziri and Alhaji Yahaya Kondiri. The rests are; Alhaji Adamu Danga Sa’idu, Alhaji Ibrahim Nasaru, Alhaji Bappa Abubakar and Alhaji Garba Idris.