Bauchi Gov Moves To End Herders/Farmers Disputes

Segun Babatunde in Bauchi

Bauchi State Governor,Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has vowed that his administration will not be turned into a sanctuary for crimes and criminality, as was the case in some states in the Northwest geo-political zone of the country.

He observed that discrepancies in land allocation and usurpation of passage on land for the Fulani herdsmen has been the monster bedeviling Nigerians’ common heritage and existence as a state, country or a nation.

The governor was speaking yesterday while inaugurating an Administrative Committee of Inquiry into Land Dispute Between Herders and Farmers Caused by Land Use Abuse and Illegal Allocation in Local Government Areas of the state.

He told the committee members, “You must see this assignment as the remedy to all the banditry and criminality that has been bedeviling us, especially forces and bad practices that are forcing farmers and Fulani in the village into banditry and criminality”.

Senator Mohammed noted that such forces and bad practices have been the cause forcing common farmers and fulanis in the villages into banditry and criminality because their primary way of life has been defrauded by sharp practices.

According to him,“We must not allow our state to be a sanctuary for criminality, we know what is happening in other places like Zamfara and Katsina states and such unwholesome attitudes by the authorities, traditional institutions and even public servants and politicians are behind all these”.

He warned that government will no longer tolerate such happenings as, according to him, any person or group of persons found to be directly or indirectly involved in causing such type of clash will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.

“As a government that has the safety and well-being of its people at heart, we will not fold our arms, and therefore it become imperative to set up this larger and powerful committee that is all embracing involving all departments and agencies that has got to do with management of our lands and forests in the Local Government Areas of the state to look at similar problems and challenges in order to address them holistically”.

He explained that the setting up of the committee of inquiry on land disputes followed the excising of the powers conferred in him by the Laws Cap 25 of Northern Nigeria, 1963 Applicable to Bauchi State and Section 33 of the Laws of Bauchi State 1991, and all other Relevant Laws

The governor assured the committee of all government’s support because, as he puts it, “there are no sacred cows in our government, ours is to make sure we provide salutary effects on the polity in such a manner that we will leave the society better than we found it”.

He further told the members that the decision to appoint them to serve on the committee was informed by their tract records, sincerity, fairness, justice, commitment, hard-work, and above all the fear of Allah, and urged members to justice the confidence reposed in them by carrying the assignment without fear or favour.

The Governor gave the terms of reference of the committee as to visit all the 20 LGAs, particularly government’s reserve forests with a view ascertain their sanctity or otherwise, to investigate and determine if such government’s reserved areas are being illegally allocated by unauthorized persons or group of persons, and those persons who are beneficiaries of such illegal allocations.

The committee is also to determine the person (s) or authority directly or indirectly involved in such illegal allocation of the portion of government’s reserved areas or cattle routes, to determine all cattle routes within and outside the forests reserved and identify areas or portion of encroachment by farmers.

It is similarly to make recommendations on measures to be take in order to establish the cattle routes and forests reserved, as well as prevent herders and farmers conflict in the state, and make any other recommendation that will promote permanent solution of herders/ farmers clashes across the state, especially with regard to land allocation, and right of route passage.

The committee is to look at all the established practices, procedures and laws established by neighbouring states so that there would not be any room for clash or land speculation, and to submit its report within four weeks from the date of inauguration

The 25-member committee that comprised of Chairman Cattle Breeders Association and Chairman Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Association and Women representative, is headed by a former Director-General of Lands and Survey, Alhaji Yahya Baba with representations from Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Lands and Survey Ministries.

Others on the committee included representatives from Boundaries Commission, Environment and Housing, Commissioner of police – Bauchi State Command, Department of Security Services, NSCDC, Sarkin Dajin Bauchi- Alhaji Rufa’i Mohammed, former Surveyor General Aliyu Gital, while Hamisu Mohammed Kusa is to serve as Secretary.

It could be recalled that Bauchi woke up on Monday, June 29, 2020 with the sad news of Fulani herders/farmers clash in Malunji village of Zadawa district in Misau LGA of the state which claimed the lives of nine persons and left tens hospitalized. END

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