Stakeholders ask herdsmen to suspend grazing for farmers harvest
This was the unanimous decision taken by stakeholders at the weekend during a peace meeting convened in Makurdi by the Benue State Government in conjunction with the Benue State Police Command and other security agencies.
Addressing the meeting, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Yakadi pointed out that if the herdsmen would refrain from their grazing activities and allow farmers to harvest their produce, the tension that is gradually building up between them and the farmers will be doused.
Mr. Yakadi further appealed to leaders of Fulani herdsmen and farmers to be in the vanguard of preaching peace for their young ones.
In his remarks at the meeting, Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Security, Colonel Edwin Jando, (retired) lamented that the influx of herdsmen in the state was becoming worrisome hence the need to draw the attention of their leaders to address the situation before they would start to cause another round of destruction.
The O’chi Agatu advised that peace and security meeting be held on a regular basis among the two interest groups to resolve grey areas to prevent anger from escalating.
Responding on behalf of the Fulani herdsmen, Ado Lawal promised to comply with the terms of the agreement reached at the meeting for peace to reign; stressing that the Fulani people cannot continue to live crisis with the people they stayed together over the years.
In another development, the state government has advised people living in rural areas to resist the temptation of living in scattered homes but try to dwell in cluster settlements for easy accessibility of rural development projects.
Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom for the Bureau of Rural Development and Cooperatives, Hon. Tsenongo Abancha, lamented that the task of making lives meaningful for rural dwellers in the areas of construction of rural roads, electricity, water as well as other social amenities become difficult if they live in scattered homes.
“Our model for rural development all encompassing so as to enable our youths in rural areas to stay where they are to engage into meaningful ventures rather than come to towns to do it. That is why we are calling or cluster settlement among the people,” Abancha noted.