As a way of finding lasting solution to the unending farmers/ herders clashes, some members of the Northern States Governors’ Forum yesterday in Sokoto held a meeting with the national leadership and state chapters of the Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) where they expressed concern on the dire consequence of the crisis.
The governors who met with Miyetti Allah leaders briefly before going to sign an MoU with Bill Gates and Dangote on extension of polio in their states, said they cannot continue to watch the region to be in the news for the bad reasons any longer.
Though, no formal communique was issued at the end of the meeting, it was however gathered that, the governors in attendance wondered what must have gone wrong that farmers/ herders crisis is almost becoming a daily news across the federation.
The meeting 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.
It was gathered that, amongst other things discussed in the meeting was the genesis of the crisis, efforts to contain it and how to entrench permanent solution, especially in some of the worst affected states.
In his opening remarks, Governor Shettima said the 19 northern states are 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.
Shettima added that, their intervention as NSGF would go a long way to complement the efforts of the federal government.
While giving insight into some of the possible measure they will adopt, Shettima said, they hope to adopt local-conflict resolution mechanism so as 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.
Though, MACBAN led by its National President, Mohammed Kirowa was said to have blamed some political leaders over the inability to finding solution to the crisis.
According to a source in the meeting, Kirowa was said to have insisted that the approach to the clashes in some states was as well counterproductive hence not targeted at bringing lasting peace.
According to MACBAN leader, some political leaders, especially governors are not approaching the issue at stake with neutrality as expected of them.
Kirowa further added that, the clashes between farmers and herders at this material time was unnecessary hence their members have lived in many of these conflict-prone communities for centuries without conflict
The governors however promised to extend the frontier of the meetings with farmers, herders and all other relevant stakeholders in Abuja, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna as well as other states experiencing farmers/ herders crisis as soon as possible.