Farmer, herdsmen clashes: Taraba suspends grazing law

Written by on February 21, 2018

Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku, has agreed to suspend and, in the process, receive the state’s grazing law.

Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, disclosed this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, yesterday.

Umahi said Ishaku, as well the leadership of Miyetti Allah, farmers and stakeholders agreed to review the grazing law in the state.

He also said end to intermittent clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country, especially in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, are in sight, following a ceasefire agreement reached by the parties in the affected states, to drop their weapons and return to table for dialogue.

As part of the National Economic Council (NEC) sub-committee set up by the Federal Government, led by Umahi, on fact-finding mission to Taraba state, yesterday, both farmers and herdsmen agreed ceasefire and return to the negatiation table, to enable the committee broker final peace.

Addressing the media at the Executive Counci chambers in Jalingo, Umahi said after several hours of meetings and deliberations involving farmers, leaders of Miyetti Allah, Taraba state government and the House of Assembly, the committee was able to plead with Ishaku and Speaker Peter Abel Diah to revisit the anti-open grazing law, to accomodate Fulani herdsmen.

Governor Umahi further disclosed that in the cause of a closed-door meeting with security chiefs in the state, it was discovered that the latest crisis at the Mambilla Plateau hadnothing to do with farmers and herdsmen clash but was purely a land issue which he said the state government has shown enough commitment to solving.

The governor blamed the leadership and members of Miyetti Allah for boycotting the public hearing on the grazing law, which he identified as one the problems that culminated into the crisis, and cited ignorance of the said law as another reason why the crisis persisted.

“We are here as part of fact-finding, to ascertain the remote cause of the crisis between farmers and herdsmen across the state. In the cause of our assignment, we met with the Taraba state government led by governor Darius Ishaku, the leadership of Miyetti Allah, farmers, stakeholders and security agents and we arrived a far-reaching solution to the crisis and the parties agreed that there should be ceasefire and that all the parties should dialogue.

“There were so many issues raised and the committee, after much deliberation with those concerned, was able to make some recommendations, including our request for some amendment to some sections of the law which the herders considered against them.

“We agreed that all cases pending in court be withdrawn, to enable the committee conclude their assignment,” Umahi said.

The governor also said the herdsmen agreed to observe ranching but requested that state and federal governments should come to their aid, to adapt to the new exercise, and added that the herdsmen should start making use of already-existing ranching facilities in Mambilla while the state government start the pilot ranching programme in the three senatorial districts of the state.

Earlier, Ishaku assured that his administration will do everything within its powers to ensure lasting peace in the state, among the 48 ethnic nationalities, including revisiting the recently enacted anti-open grazing law, to accomodate the grievances of Miyetti Allah.

Meanwhile, the Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) has advised Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to support the Federal Government’s efforts in addressing security challenges in the country.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its chairman, Autin Braimoh, yesterday, the group explained that synergy is needed to tackle security issues or problems in the country.

According to the BMSG, no security issue should be treated in isolation.

The group noted that the recruitment and training of ethnic militias by politicians is no less important than the menace of the herdsmen violence and added that discovery of training camps by militias has made it imperative for government to tackle security issues comprehensively.

The group said it is not advisable to deal with one security problem and ignore another, adding that doing so cannot produce long term and lasting solutions.

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