By; Magaji Hunkuyi, Jalingo.
Taraba State Government has announced plans to allocate lands to herdsmen to establish ranches in the state as part of measures to tackle farmers and herdsmen clashes .
Chief of Staff, Government House Administration, Mr. Rebo Usman disclosed this in Jalingo shortly after security stakeholders meeting chaired by Governor Darius .
He said the decision to provide lands to herdsmen followed a recent meeting between Governor Ishaku and his Benue state counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom, at Kashimbila in the state last week.
“Two governors had jointly declared their intention to promote cattle ranching through the cultivation of cattle feeds and provision of land to herdsmen for ranches” the Chief of Staff said.
He said it was believed that when this is done, farmers and herdsmen clashes will be brought to its barest minimum in the state.
Mr. Usman explained that it was the responsibility of the state government to provide conducive environment for both farmers and herdsmen to operate thereby promoting peaceful coexistence among the two group.
He noted with concern the influx of violent herdsmen into the state pointing out such movement was of great concern to the government.
He alleged that security reports have attributed that over 80 percent of cases of destruction of farmlands, rape, robbery, cattle rustling and even communal clashes in Ardo-Kola, Karim-Lamido, Lau and Kurmi Council Areas were caused by herdsmen.
“In view of the forgoing, Gov Darius Ishaku, wishes to appeal to those responsible for the influx of these dangerous herdsmen to desist from their activities,” Usman said.
He urged all citizens to be law abiding, have confidence in security operatives, report movements of suspected persons and assist in ensuring peace and stability in the state.
Meanwhile the Chairman Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, North -East Branch, Mallam Mafindi Danburam said it was not true that herdsmen were responsible for most of farmers herdsmen clashes in the state.
He alleged that government in the state was responsible for most of communal crises because of discrimination tendency in handling the affairs of the state
He further alleged that the address by the secretary to Taraba state government at Christians Association secretariat in Jalingo where Christians were told to take arms and defend themselves even when there was no threat to them by any body had contributed to mutual mistrust among people of the state.
He said there were instances where herdsmen were attacked and killed in some part of the state and the government refused to bring those responsible to book despite complains made to government in writing by Miyeti Allah association.
”The government should know that Fulani are indigenes of Taraba state and they deserved to be treated as legitimate citizens of the state” Mallam Danburam explained.