The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria ( MACBAN ) has called upon the National Assembly to make laws that will address issues of grazing reserves and cattle routes nation wide.
National Secretary of the association, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, said this will go a long way in summounting the problem of herdsmen/ farmers conflict.
He said that the most recent clashes in Agatu axis was part of the chain of provocative attacks by the Agatus against Fulani herdsmen and their cattle and reprisal attack by the Fulani against Agatu militia.
“The Fulani Herdsmen are peace loving people who are desirous of living in a sustained peaceful atmosphere and coexistence with their neighbours and host communities. They are also always prepared to pay damages done to any farmland by their cattle, regardless of whether the said damage was deliberate or not.
“Unfortunately, the Fulani herdsmen have suffered huge number of human and livestock losses; their gazing routes have been destroyed; they have been blocked from accessing banks of the Benue River, the source of water for their cattle during dry season; their cattle are rustled in thousands; and their leaders and youth attacked and most often killed in cold blood”, Baba Othman said.
He said, “since 2012, the Fulanis have been suffering from all sorts of attacks by the Agatu militias. Even, when the Fulanis have decided to move further into Nasarawa State, the Agatus pursued and attacked them with impunity”.
He also said the menace of cattle rustling in which he alleged that the Agatu youth also partake is fast threatening the fabric of the society, adding that the problem must be tackled head-on.
MACBAN therefore said that the Agatu axis crisis should be handled to with high sense of responsibility and statesmanship by setting up a high powered panel made up of Agatus, Fulani herdsmen, the Nasarawa and Benue States governments under the Inspector General of Police to look into the immediate and remote causes of the crisis and profer a lasting solution thereof.