The Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) has pledged to partner concerned authorities in ending the killings in Benue, Nasarawa and other states.
Rising from a national emergency meeting in Jos yesterday, the group decried the raging war between herdsmen and farmers in parts of the country as well as the resultant loss lives and destruction of property. It regretted that the clashes had reduced Benue and Nasarawa states to “a human theatre of war and misery.”
In a statement, the national chairman, Alhaji Sale Bayari, the association was disturbed by the development, adding that the Benue scenario, according to their findings, “is responsible for the crises in the neighbouring states of Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi due to the influx of displaced animals and persons from Benue State. It is our view that if the crisis is not brought to an end, it has the capacity of engulfing the entire nation, resulting into an ethno-socio-religious conflict that politicians may inflame to cause a national upheaval.”
He said: “The GAFDAN observed with sadness the negative activities of other herders’ associations that played unhelpful and inciting roles in escalating the Benue’s herders-farmers crisis through their double speak on the anti-grazing law as well their provocative and sub judicial remarks while the matter was still in court, eliciting threats and actions from tribal associations in the state.”
“Our association, having played no such role, has the confidence of both the herdsmen, security agencies and the farmers to intervene as a law-abiding association to douse the tension and bring about lasting peace to Benue and other states affected by the unfortunate bloodletting.”
Bayari went on: “GAFDAN recalled the role its now national chairman played as the Secretary of the Sultan’s Tiv farmers/Fulani Cattle Rearers Relationship Committee under the chairmanship and co-chairmanship of the late Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar and the late Tor Tiv, Dr. Torkula Akawe, where the Tiv farmers and Fulani cattle rearers’ protracted conflicts in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states were addressed exhaustively through peaceful means.
“With this experience, the association believes that it has the capacity to intervene and put in place all necessary measures to ensure that there are peace and order in Benue State. The association hereby calls on both the federal and the state governments as well as the citizens and security agencies to partner with it to bring to a roundtable all the warring parties to urgently put an end to this carnage and politicisation of human blood.”