By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson
Towards finding permanent solution to the menace of clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Kwara State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed will tomorrow (Tuesday) meet the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in the state, National Pilot can report.
Also expected at the meeting are members of the state security committee.
The hint was given by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold during a chat with our reporter in Ilorin, yesterday.
According to him, the effort is a remedial action at forestalling clashes between herdsmen and farmers in order to strengthen security and safety of lives and property in the state.
“The Governor is worried over the spate of insecurity caused by the conflict between herdsmen and farmers. It has become a serious security challenge that needs urgent actions in order to maintain the state’s reputation as the home of peace and harmony, ” Gold noted.
He added that the initiative is a measure to prevent the occurrence of killings by herders in the state as being witnessed in neighbouring Kogi State and other parts of the country.
“The Governor is concerned about the safety of lives and property of the citizenry and will not leave any stone unturned to ensure this,” the SSG stressed.
It would be recalled that the state government had planned to strengthen existing security and peace committees in all 16 local government areas as a way of curbing persistent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
This was one of the resolutions of the Kwara State Security Committee meeting held last Wednesday at the Government House, Ilorin, and chaired by the Governor Ahmed.
The committee resolved that the LG security and peace committees are to monitor, assess and manage security situations and prevent escalation.
The committee consist of all stakeholders and security agencies in the local governments including farmers and herdsmen.
…what group told Northern govs
The Northern States Governors’ Forum at the weekend held a meeting with the national leadership and state chapters of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
This was part of efforts to find lasting solutions to the continued clashes between herders and farmers across the federation.
The meeting, which held in Sokoto, had in attendance NSGF chairman and Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima, host Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and their counterparts from Kano (Abdullahi Ganduje), and Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai.
Revealing the position of MACBAN, a source at the meeting said: “The leadership of Miyetti Allah, led by the National President, Muhammed Kirowa, told the gathering that the approach to conflict resolution adopted by political leaders in some states is not helpful in finding lasting peace.
“In his views, political leaders, especially Governors, should approach issues of peace in neutral perspective, not as biased party.”
“He said their members have lived in many of these conflict-prone communities for centuries without conflict, but wondered why the situation is getting out of hand now,” the source added.
In his remarks, Governor Shettima said the 19 northern states were worried by the rising cases of insecurity involving herder and farmers, and expressed optimism that their intervention will help in finding lasting solution to the conflicts.
He said they were intervening in order to complement efforts of the federal government, and said they hope to adopt local-conflict resolution mechanism to bring back trust and understanding among all the people of the region.
“We have seen enough crisis in the North East with Boko Haram. We cannot afford to let any other conflict linger without a solution
“We hope to hear from all sides and finally come up with a workable plan that will restore confidence and entrench lasting peace in our region,” he added.
A new round of discussion is expected to take place in Abuja, Jos, Makurdi and Kaduna in the coming weeks.