Following the Executive Order of the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwaratim Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, to the Fulani Herdsmen illegally occupying the State Forest Reserves to vacate within seven days with effect from Monday, January 18, 2021, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum led by its chairman, Dr Kayode Fayemi met with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), security agencies and other stakeholders on January 25, 2021, at the International Centre for Culture and Events (DOME), Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State to find lasting solutions to the incessant killings, kidnapping and crises between herdsmen and farmers in the Southwest geo-political zone of the country.
The meeting discussed vigorously and resolved that:
The security and welfare of the people of Nigeria is the primary purpose of government as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.
The stakeholders are committed to the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
Insecurity is a national challenge and not peculiar to any tribe or region but must be addressed by the cooperation of all.
The order of the Ondo State Governor was misconstrued and misrepresented by a section of the media. He only ordered those occupying the Forest Reserves in Ondo State illegally to quit.
Criminals should be apprehended and punished, no matter their origin, class or status.
Security agencies have been trying to stem the tide of criminality in the country but must step up their efforts in the fight.
There is the need to build a partnership for peace and security with MACBAN and jointly wage war against criminality.
No one had sent anyone away from any state or region but all hands must be on deck to fight criminality.
MACBAN is a peace-loving, law-abiding organization which does not harbour or condone criminals and agreed that:
(i) Night grazing should be banned henceforth
(ii) Underage herding is Inimical to security and hence be banned
(iii) Occupation of State Forest Reserves illegally is condemned.
MACBAN also suffers insecurity and kidnapping and thus desire peaceful coexistence.
MACBAN is ready for any peaceful move by the states to engender security.
Fake news is another issue that makes our security worse than solving it.
There must be an enduring framework with MACBAN in a way that will help address security issues.
That free-range grazing must be stopped to avoid conflicts between the farmers and the herders
Strengthening an alternative security arrangement and make them complementary to the mainstream security agencies in Nigeria.
MACBAN should embrace and be committed to modern breeding process by creating grazing reserves and practice ranching to prevent cattle roaming about.
Standing Committee comprising of farmers, MACBAN and the Government should be set up in each state (where they don’t exist) to ensure synergy and result.
We must create economic opportunities for our people and reduce opportunities for criminalities in our country.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune