The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday condemned the killing of 41 innocent people by armed bandits in Birane, Zurmi LGA of Zamfara state and reported killing of 12 herdsmen by suspected local farmers at Okere in Iseyin, Oyo state.
ACF, while describing the killings as unfortunate and barbaric, noted that bloodletting in the country in form of bandits attack and herders/farmers clashes has assumed a dangerous dimension which must be tackled head-on by the security agencies.
According to a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, ACF said, “the killing of 41 innocent people by armed bandits in Birane in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara state is most unfortunate and barbaric.
“The bloodletting in the states in the form of bandits’ attack and herders/ farmers clashes has assumed a dangerous dimension which must be tackled head-on by the security agencies. Federal Government’s decision to deploy troops to troubled states is therefore a welcome development,” the Forum said.
While condoling the bereaved families and the government of Zamfara and Oyo states respectively over the ugly incident, ACF urged them to seek justice through the due process of law court.
It also urged the security agencies and the community leaders to synergize in order to avert unnecessary killings of innocent souls by bandits and asked security agencies to be more proactive in their operations.
The forum said, “The reported killing of 12 herdsmen by suspected local farmers at Okere in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo state and another 14 others declared missing on the allegation that a farmer found dead in his farm was suspected to have been killed by herdsmen is disturbing and worrisome.
“However, ACF commends the action taken by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Oyo state chapter by appealing to their members not to take any reprisal attack, but urges the police to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice.
This is the most civilized way of handling such misunderstanding and not through the avoidable clashes we have recently witnessed in parts of the country.
“ACF therefore appeals to all concerned to always employ dialogue as the best means to settling all disputes, given that disputes are natural concomitant of mechanism of community living. What is important is ability to reduce disputes to the minimum.
The violent clashes that have led to loss of lives and destruction of property have not been helpful to our corporate existence as a united and peaceful nation, they are internecine,” the forum said.