The Bayelsa state government has donated 1,200 hectares of land to Fulani herdsmen to control indiscriminate grazing in the state. According to the state government, the decision was to prevent the invasion of farmlands and check any security breaches.
It would be recalled that had in December 2016, the government restricted the activities of herdsmen in the state to the Bayelsa Palm area in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The state chairman, Cattle ranches management, and control committee, Shitu Mohammed, in an interactive session with stakeholders on Sunday, said the 1,200 hectares of land was for ranch development, grazing and slaughtering of cattle.
He added that more ranches would be donated to the cattle rearers in order to maintain peace and order in the state.
Alhaji Mohammed who commended the Bayelsa government for releasing the land said the gesture would help to sustain the lasting peace that had existed between herdsmen and farmers in the state.
He also noted that the committee was set up by the state government to foster the cordial relationship between the cattle rearers, farmers and the people of the state.
“This is simply because the committee in collaboration with the state government and the security agencies had put in place quick response mechanisms,” he said.
He called on the people of the state to appreciate the provision of the ranch as it will create job opportunities and boost tourism in the state.
Meanwhile, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has said the prevailing activities of the Fulani herdsmen over the years has led to the killing, maiming, raping of Igbo people and destruction of their farms.
He said the peaceful coexistence between previously peace-loving Fulani herdsmen, who herded their cattle with long canes and our local farmers has been replaced by an era of AK-47 toting and rampaging herdsmen who kill, maim, rape our people and destroy our farms.
“Not one of them is ever arrested for illegal possession of firearms. Even those arrested in Nimbo for mercilessly killing our people remain unprosecuted by the Northern dominated law enforcement agents,” he said.
According to another Igbo chieftain in Ebonyi State, Chief Abia Onyike, the Fulani herdsmen have become a militia group charged with the continuation of the Igbo genocide in Nigeria as their attacks on Igbo communities have led to the loss of innocent lives in Igboland resulting in a culture of pestilence, fear and sometimes defiance.
The immediate past president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who spoke at the United States House Sub-Committee on Africa, last Wednesday, said religious violence and extremism may destroy Nigeria if they are not addressed.
Goodluck Jonathan said that the solution to the Niger Delta crisis and Southern Kaduna killings are embedded in the report of the 2014 National Conference, held in Abuja.
Speaking at the meeting which was attended by Chairman of the U.S. House Sub-Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, Congressman Christopher H. Smith and other influential staff of the Committee,the former president noted that if resolutions made at the 2014 National Confab be adopted, it will bring a lasting solution to the herdsmen crises ravaging the country.