From Sambisa to Kamuku forest? – Daily Trust

From Sambisa to Kamuku forest?

17.5.2019

From Sambisa to Kamuku forest?

The meeting of the five governors namely, Nasiru El-Rufa’i (Kaduna), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Abdul-azeez Yari (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), and Abubakar Bello (Niger), on Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Kaduna to address the alarming criminal activities in the Kamuku Forest which crisscrossed into the five states was indeed not only timely but also absolutely …

And without the intervention of the government and security agents, the stage for bloodshed and an endless violent feud would have been set. Without the provision of an alternative grazing space for the herdsmen who feel it is their right to graze their animals in order for them to fend for themselves and their offspring, the herdsmen often seek for means and ways to defend themselves and their animals. This is where the problem of the procurement and possession of firearms comes in. The herdsmen, having witnessed the efficacy of these arms against them when their enemies struck, are more desirous of possessing them now than ever before.

In October 2011, a former highly respected security chief called me and introduced me to Governor Abdul-aziz Yari of Zamfara State and pleaded with me to go to Gusau and see what I could do to put out the fire that was burning between the Fulani herdsmen and Hausa farmers in Dansadau LGA. Over 100 herdsmen had lost their lives and they were on a very deadly, unstoppable reprisal mission. The herdsmen had almost entirely left the LGA and even the state to other LGAs and states. I knew what danger lay ahead when these people pulled out of any area in this manner. It is not for nothing but the launching of a long drawn deadly reprisal attack.

One thing they keep on harping on and emphasising was the refusal of the government to acknowledge their losses in both human and animal lives in the violent crisis between them and the Hausa. And this was their biggest grievance that was making them unmanageable and inconsolable in their resolve to take revenge. They particularly painted the pictures of how government came to the rescue of the Hausa with relief materials and gave a lot of media coverage to their (Hausa) losses in the crisis without saying a word about them (herdsmen).They were so pained by this that I had to be careful not to allow them know I was there on behalf of the government, especially as I had no defence for the government on this.

Some of the herdsmen said some of them had already resorted to all forms of criminal acts such as the stealing of the animals of both herdsmen and the Hausa. They said without government intervention, the Fulani, sooner or later, would become permanent thieves as most of them had already lost over 70% of their means of livelihood which is their cattle.

Bayari is a former National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association and now the National Chairman of the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN).

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