Incessant Killings : Southern Kaduna Monarchs, Fulani leaders agree on ceasefire …as GOC brokers peace
Traditional Rulers and leaders of Fulani herdsmen in the Southern part of Kaduna State have reached agreement with the top security chiefs to end the incessant attacks and killings in the area.
The leaders, who reached the decision at a meeting, convened by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade also agreed for the immediate stoppage of any form of violent activity, illegal display of arms and hiring of machinery to cause violence or carry out attacks in the area.
Reading the resolutions of the meeting held behind closed doors for over five hours at the Nigerian Army School of Artillery in Kachia, the GOC said, the meeting also resolved to stop children from grazing cattle, having identified such as, one of the sources of farmer/herdsmen clash.
Reading the resolution , the GOC stated: “We agreed that, there will be immediate stoppage to all forms of violent activities from all the stakeholders. We want to encourage the setting up of peace and reconciliation committees at the ward levels, district level and the local government level by the Fulani herdsmen, the locals and other critical stakeholders in the various communities. Their focus will be to continue the effort which is started here today to deal with all the local issues that may trigger any form of violent activities.
“It has also been agreed that children will stop being at the helms of grazing cattle in Kaduna state and in the North West zone, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has made that commitment that they are going to make sure that all children are prevented from shepherding their cattle because it has been identified as one of the areas of conflict because they do not know much about area that they are not suppose to graze their cattle.
“Any destruction of farm lands or killing of cattle, the perpetrators will be brought before the committees that will be set up by the various levels with the aim of administering justice to make sure that if there are penalties to be paid, they should be done after being agreed by members of the committee at the various levels.
“It has also been agreed that within the next few days, efforts will be made at all levels to call all their members including the youth, the Fulani herdsmen from carrying weapons when moving around, the use of weapons by anybody other than the security forces is absolutely and completely illegal. The security officers and agencies will take decisive actions against any group that violates this decision effective from 1st November, 2016.
“We will not tolerate open display of arms by any group and we want to implore all of you to send the message across to all your people that the use of arms is prohibited and a violation of the laws of the country.
“Effective 1st November, 2016, anybody found blocking the main road, the high way with the purpose of stopping vehicles from plying those roads with the intention of profiling the passengers in such buses, that action will desist immediately, any form of road block bhy any group will be decisively dealt.
“We want to urge you all to get this message across to all your youth, any form of crime that may be committed in the days and weeks o com, efforts should be made through the ward level to resolve it and where it cannot be resolved to make the appropriate reporting to the security agencies, in this case, the Nigerian Police as the lead agency in our internal security operations.
“He urged the critical stakeholders to be mindful of introducing issues of ethnicity and religion into the crisis, we must be wary of the fact that this is a cause of action that will do no good to anybody, we must look at these issues and deal with them appropriately.
“Whether it is true or not that the Fulani or the herdsmen bring in mercenary herdsmen with the purpose of carrying out attacks in the various communities, while it has not been verified, we want to urge our brothers, the Fulani herdsmen and ofcourse our locals to desist henceforth from bringing in outsiders into the affairs of your various communities. We believe strongly that these issues can be resolved in house.
“These resolutions that I have read out are by no means exhaustive, whatever efforts that individually or collectively that could be brought to the table, please, you are free to do that in the spirit of peace and unity. The security forces will remain deployed in the volatile areas to make sure that any violations of some of the decision we have reached are dealt with speedily.
“It will not be in the interest of anybody to test the resolve of the security agencies to do what they must do to ensure the peace and security of the land, while we are doing that, we are also available to you to bring any issue that you feel could make some positive contributions with the aim of ensuring peace and harmony.
“Other issues such as the use of drugs, I believe those are issues that can be dealt with and discussed at your various levels. We also want to urge the chairmen of the local governments to provide the necessary support to all the committees and groups and to begin a wide spread sensitization at all levels so that they can begin to understand the decisions we have reached and to make sure that we do not experience the kind of atrocities we have witnessed over the last few days”.
Others who attended the meeting ate the Police Commissioner, top military officers, about 10 traditional rulers of Southern Kaduna extraction, including the Chief of Godogodo, National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the heads of Fulani communities and other stakeholders.