By Danjuma Joseph Lafia
Governors Abdullahi Sule and Samuel Ortom, of Benue and Nasarawa States, have held talks in furtherance of their efforts to ensure sustainable peace among the ethnic groups in the two states.
The meeting which was held at Yalwata village in Guma local government area of Benue State, had in attendance the two governor’s, the deputy governor of Benue State, SSGs of the two states, security chiefs and traditional rulers also from the two states and representatives of farmers and MIYETTI Allah.
The meeting which was at the instance of the Nasarawa State Governor, was convened to address the persistent crisis between farmers and herders in the border communities of the two states.
Gov Ortom, in a welcome address reiterated that the state have an anti-grazing law in place, as such he said any Fulani that wish to stay in the state would apply and be provided with land for ranching.
On his part, Gov Sule, said Nasarawa and Benue, are not Palestine and Israel, they were brothers created from the old Benue-Plateau, so no need of feud he said.
Participants at the meeting who spoke at different times commended the Governors, for their doggedness in ensuring sustainable peace and security among the different ethnic nationalities in the two States.
Similarly, security agencies in the two States were commended for their efforts in ensuring peace, Law and Order as well as their prompt response to crisis situations.
The meeting also appreciated the efforts of Traditional Rulers and
communities leaders in conflict resolution among warring parties among communities of the two states.
Communique issued at the the well attaended meeting and signed by the two governors said “The Deputy Governors of the two States and National Boundary Commission should speedily work towards concluding the demarcation of the borders between the two States so as to address the lingering crisis between the Alago, Tiv and the Fulani from both States and resolve their differences”
“Fulani herdsmen should refrain from trespassing and occupying farm lands and communities at the disputed border areas for now until the boundary lines between Benue and Nasarawa States are clearly demarcated by the National Boundary Commission (NBC)”
“Farmers and herdsmen should also refrain from taking laws into their hands at the slightest provocation; they should endeavor to report any trespass or breach of their rights to the constituted authority nearest to them”
“Security agencies to intensify surveillance and patrol activities in their border areas and both States should jointly employ the use of community policing to stop the menace of herdsmen attack and inter border banditry activities”
“No Livestock guard should cross the border into Nasarawa State while performing their assignment”
“Border communities 0f the two States should identify perpetrators, sponsors/financiers of criminal activities and report them to security agencies”
“Regular visit on each other by Traditional Rulers and Chairmen of Local Government Councils from Benue and Nasarawa States particular those at the border areas”
“The Governors of the two States commend His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for setting up special task force on security to complement the efforts of the regular security agencies in combating crimes in North Central Nigeria”