By Ibrahim Abdul’Aziz
Disturbed by incessant conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, mostly during harvest time, the Fulbe Development Association of Nigeria (FULDAN), has launched a sensitisation campaign to proffer solution to the crises.
To achieve this, the group organised a one day North east zonal meeting in Yola to brainstorm on how to bring peace and mutual respect between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
The meeting brought in hundreds of Fulani herdsmen from Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi states, where various stakeholders within and outside the state delivered papers, sensitising the Fulde people on the need to live in peace with their host communities, aimed at improving the peace and social harmony among the peoples of the states.
Chairman of the association, Mallam Salihu Abba, said the aim of the meeting was to promote peace and understanding.
Abba revealed that the usual herdsmen/farmers crisis being experienced in the country was as a result of misconceptions by the nomads, who he said were not sensitised on the norms and behaviours of other communities.
“Crisis normally occurs between the herdsmen and farmers during harvest period, and we have to map out sensitisation programmes for our people in order to avoid any form of clash,” he said.
Abba reiterated that the short time solution would enable farmers and herdsmen to come together to settle their differences without a third party while the middle and long time solution would involve major stakeholders and governments at all levels.
Also, Dr Abdulrahaman Tugga, Assistant Director of Department of Veterinary services, advised Fulani herders to find places of permanent residence where they could be called and recognised.
According to him, if only they can be recognised of a place they can call their own that will solve the issues of crisis in the country.
“It’s when Fulani are settled in one place they can be registered to get their voters cards, they can equally get their national identity cards for nation building as they cannot be issued with their host communities because they will be having ranches where they keep their cattle,” he said
Also in his presentation, Dr Abubakar Umar Girei, the National Secretary Tabitaal Pulaku international, advised Fulani herdsmen to learn to live in peace and harmony with their hosts.
“We will not accept any Fulbe man that is guilty, we are moving toward justice to all and sundry, justice to farmers and justice to Fulbe cattle rearers.
“We are here to bring unity among Fulbe and other ethnic nationalities, the unity of these nationalities will foster a great peace in the country,” Umar said.
Prof Umar Mohammed Labbo from Kano, condemned how Fulbe people were being stereotyped as terrorists, asserting that, “Fulanis are peace loving people minding their business like any other person but are being seen and labeled in some areas as bad people, which is never true.”