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Southern Kaduna, Fulani herdsmen ceasefire

09 April 2014, 16:12

Kaduna - Leaders of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), on Tuesday in Kaduna, signed a peace agreement toward ending months of hostilities in the area.

The two groups had been embroiled in violence characterised by night attacks that had led to several deaths.

The peace pact, which followed several meetings under the supervision of senior police officials, was signed for the Fulanis by the Chairman of MACBAN in Kaduna State, Ahmadu Suleiman and Chairman, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi.

Other signatories for the Fulanis included the State Secretary, Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, Ahmad Yandeh.

The Southern Kaduna team was represented by the SOKAPU National President, Dr Ephraim Goje, National Chairman, Moroa Development Association, Musa Sheyin and Member of SOKAPU executive committee, Bitrus Gwadah.

In a communiqué that followed the peace pact, the two groups stressed the need for a ceasefire, continued dialogue and return of peace and unity to the state.

They called for the close monitoring of people's movement, and suggested more involvement of traditional rulers in that respect.

The meeting also called for a return to the traditional intelligence gathering mechanisms, while mobile police and military units should be established in Kafanchan and Birnin Gwari for quick response to security challenges.

It also urged governments at all levels to improve on security agencies' capacities to handle crisis by providing adequate logistics.

"There is also the need for joint community policing, comprising all ethnic groups, to complement the efforts of the security agencies, while proliferation of small and medium arms should be seriously checked.

"The youths should be sensitised on the need for self-restraint and the dangers of taking laws into their hands, while perpetrators of attacks must be fished out and brought to book.

The Leaders also advised the government to create a Ministry of Animal Resources out of the present Ministry of Agriculture, and the need to gazette of all existing reserves and cattle routes.

"The pastoralists should be encouraged to adopt modern animal husbandry techniques in place of roaming with their livestock, while all grazing reserves that have been encroached should be reclaimed while compensation be paid to the original landowners where this has not been done,'' it added.

The communiqué also recommended the implementation of recommendations of all previous committees established by the state government on peace and reconciliation, and emphasised the need to resolve all outstanding issues on boundary disputes with neighbouring states.

It also called for the establishment of a Peace and Reconciliation Commission by the state government and urged the media to desist from sensational reports on crisis in the area.

"We also called on the regulatory bodies to sanction such erring media houses and the journalists involved,'' the communique added.

The leaders appealed to the entire people in the state to embrace peace, unity and mutual tolerance among each other.

 - NAN

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