Health and Safety

Zamfara: Police meet hundreds of Fulanis in bid to end banditry

Written by Maritime First

…As Gov. Zulum says: We will spend our last kobo to eliminate Boko Haram***

The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Mr Usman Nagogo, on Monday met with hundreds of Fulanis living in the state in his bid to amicably end the raging banditry in the state.

The meeting, held in Gusau, was sequel to a similar one he had with representatives of the Hausa community and local vigilantes on the security challenges in the state.

Although the leadership of the state chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association had been dissolved, Alhaji Ahmed Hussaini spoke on behalf of the Fulani at the meeting.

According to him, part of the causes of the crisis that led to armed banditry in the state was the takeover of cattle grazing reserves by farmers and the branding of the Fulani tribe as thieves or criminals.

Hussaini lamented that there was a conspiracy of silence as the Fulanis were being maltreated across the state.

“We have nowhere to take our case to because even the emirs that appointed our leaders as ‘Sarkin Fulani’ no longer comes to our defence due to their involvement in politics and the weakness of their authority,” Hussaini said, stressing that all the Fulanis wanted was an environment free of harassment to tend to their animals without molestation.

“We are aware of increase in population the world over which necessitates the need for more farmlands to produce more food, but farming cannot go without animal rearing.

“The grazing sites should be divided into three with farming taking two parts while grazing takes one part so that our animals can feed,” he suggested.

The spokesman who condemned both Fulani and Hausa involved in the killing of innocent people, however, blamed the act on illiteracy and appealed to the state government to establish schools around Fulani settlements so that their children could get good education.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Nagogo said the meeting was aimed at bringing lasting peace through the cooperation of both Hausas and Fulanis who have all along been living together.

“I want to assure you that this meeting is crucial to the whole country and there will be no deceit or disappointment because we have realized that Zamfara has become a hiding place for bandits.

“If peace is attained in Zamfara, there will be peace throughout the nation,” he explained.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Security Matters, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran urged displaced Fulanis to return to their settlements.

He assured them that any of their property taken over by the Hausas would be retrieved and returned to the original owners.

“We know that many people are in possession of firearms cutting across the Hausa and Fulani communities and we are confident that gradually they will surrender such weapons as part of the peace accord,” he said.

In the meantime, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Monday assured that the state government would spend its last kobo to support the military and strengthen Civilian JTF and hunters, to eliminate terrorism.

Zulum gave the promise when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who visited him in Maiduguri.

He vowed that the state government would rise to the challenge of defending the people by supporting the military in terms of intelligence and logistics.

“The chief of army staff, count on me.

“Believe me, the government of Borno state will spend its last Kobo in ensuring that our civilian JTF and hunters are strengthened.

“We cannot afford a situation whereby two persons (terrorists) come with motorcycle or vehicle, ransacking town and killing hundreds of people,’’ he said.

The governor maintained that security was everybody’s business and not only a military affair.

He commended the military, particularly the army for their efforts so far in dealing with terrorists, noting that it was “very difficult to deal with an enemy you do not see.’’

“People do not understand; it very difficult.

“Considering the land mass of Borno state, about 76, 000 kms; it is not easy.’’

He pleaded that military operation should be followed with a stabilisation mechanism, saying “once an area has been liberated, there is the need for the government and military to work out modalities for reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement’’.

He added that this should be done with the support of the military and paramilitary organisations

“Without this, an area liberated can be taken over by insurgents.’’

The governor also pointed out that to achieve success in the fight against terrorism, the root causes of Boko Haram must be addressed.

He listed some of them as unemployment, endemic poverty, high illiteracy, poor socio-economic infrastructure and climate change.

“Right now, over 80 per cent of our population (Borno), including the youth and able bodied men, are unemployed.

“The situation is catastrophic, and unless we address the root causes of these problems, I think we cannot make any meaningful progress,’’ he said.

Zulum said that the mainstay of the state’s economy was agriculture but regretted that over 90 per cent of the population did not have access to farmland due insurgency.

“The area under cultivation in the last 10 years is less than that of the last two years.

“We are getting some significant improvement. This year, 2019, we are also getting more significant improvement.

“One area that the people of Borno wish to collaborate with the military and the police is to have access to their farmland,’’ he said.

Earlier, Buratai had congratulated the governor on his election and assured that the military was working out solution to insecurity in the state and the North-East.

Buratai also said that the military was moving into the stabilization phase in the region and pleaded for more support.

 

 

 

 

 

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