From Yahaya Audu, Bauchi
Harvest time is usually the most critical period for Fulani Nomad and farmers where by they usually engaged in a series of crisis as a result of trespassing into farm lands, grazing reserves and water points, but this year harvest time comes with good tidings not like the other previous years through the concerted efforts and active participation of both warring faction which include, Miyatti Allah Cattle breeders, farmers and the Police in community relations peace initiative.
Checks our correspondent revealed that this year harvest season the crisis was minimized to zero level through massive sensitazation, mobilisation, educating and enlightement camoaign of the Fulani Nomad, Farmers and the Police by their various leadership and management team.
Interacting with the Secretary Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Bauchi State Alhaji Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed on the success so far achieved, he said that, Is not only towards the dry season that farmers use to have comflicts with the cattle breeders.
According to him, the conflict is natural but usually is rampant around this seasons in particular when farmers farm produce are ready for harvest and farmers are ready to eat what they have produce from the by product of what they have produce.
“This brings a lot of conflicts but there are understanding between the Fulani and farmers especially when leaders like us try to educate our people to let them know that we need each other to survive in our communities and life”.
Sadiq Ahmed said, “this is a dangerous period that crisis is likely to emanate we have been cautioning our people, we have been careful on how we discussed with them,educating them, enlightening them to take care of their cattles, know where they are taking their cattles to, which route they would go for gracing without trespassing or hurting farmers as a result their grazing”.
To the farmers, he said we have been taken messages of peace to them, we have been having several meetings with them for them to know that once they harvest their crops they should not leave a portion of it field where the cattles are likely to go and eat it, we have being doing a lot to ensure good working relationship exist between the Fulani cattle breeders and the farmers. We try to let them know about the rights of each other and respect each other during our peaceful meetings”.
Speaking in similar vein, he said, “this is a very critical period that we don’t even need to call on the people or sensitize them alone, but we used also the media like we are doing now to reach out to them, to tell our people that peace is very, very important to the life of every everybody. Like the Hausa people are saying, you can start a trouble but you don’t know where it would end, it would end up engulfing you.
He as leaders they have been calling on their people through the mass media and all other means to restrain themselves from entering farmers crop saying the initiate have gone a long way in resolving crisis between farmers and cattle breeders adding that is the reason why why this year hardee’s crisis and farmers is minimized to zero level.
He explained that in Bauchi they have what they call Fulani/police community relations at the higher level, where they work with Commissioner of Police and senior Management team to ensure peace in communities and at local level their chairmen at LGAs are working with the DPOs to ensure peace at all level
In same line, he said apart from the community relations that they are working with the Police and farmers they are also working with the traditional rulers of every community to measure that peace rain in Bauchi State and Nigeria.
He said, “this initiative have gone along way in building peaceful coexistence amongst Fulani communities and farmers. The Police have gave us a lot of cooperation, even the Army have being doing a lot in assisting us, looking at the crisis in the country, the Army have being station in most of the places prone of crisis, we also seek for their cooperation we are doing a lot and we are also getting a positive result from what we are doing”.
Talking on the success of series of meetings they have being having with Police, farmers and Miyatti Allah, he said, “I was part and parcel of this meeting, that was not the first meeting we have being having that community relations meetings for the past three to four years, yes the meeting have been impacting positively, because is a forum where we are able to discussed our problems, our security problems what borders the Nomad, what borders the farmers what borders the security at the end we resolved that we will put our heads together work together ensure that peace rain and be our brothers keepers”.
He some of the positive result of the meetings include, the Commissioner of Policy going round to mobilizing and sensitizing his people to be up and doing in the area of peace molestation and harassment of innocent Nomad and farmers.
” I think now the DPOs are doing well most of the harassment by the Police have been minimized even thought there are a lot of things going on but it has being reduce, may be thirty to forty percent of it.
Sadiq Ahmed said “now you don’t find cases of Police stopping a Fulani man on the road or on motorcycle collect money from him sometimes when a farmer report a Fulanis man they would just go arrest and detained most of things have been curtail. The Police are doing well now, we need to continue to interact with them so that the remaining Police would be sensitize, all the people would be sensitize so that this issue of crisis would be reduce in Bauchi State and Nigeria at large”.
To further minimize crisis between farmers and Fulani Nomad, he explained that Government at all level should also be up and doing in discharging their responsibilities especially in the issue of crisis and insecurity should be look into with sincerity and put in place mechanism to curtail unforseen crisis.
He stressed that one of the major thing that usually cause crisis between farmers and cattle breeders is that farmers have enchorage in all the cattle route because government did not demarcate the route between farmers and Nomad when it converted all the route to nylon roads.
The leade rinsisted that, government should demarcate the route in all the roads across Nigeria like don’t rear here, don’t graze here but government did not do that, the grazing reserves which are very important to the life of Fulani Nomad have also being used and enchorage by farmers while some have built houses on it as a result of increase in population.
Another issue he said, is the watering point which is very important to the Fulani survival have being turn into farms land saying this are some of the challenges the Fulani Nomad are facing in this modern generation.
“There is need for government to revive the issue of cattle route the issue of reserves and watering point which in turn lead to crisis between farmers and Nomad by this he believes that is the panacea to end the crisis.
“Fulanis man is responsible and responsive in nature, the Fulani also provide all the resources that we need in the country he provide the meat, milk and hard and skin for people that means the Fulani is also important to the economic but when it’s come to sharing the national cake the Fulani man is zero”. He said.
His wish is that, “farmers should embrace peace, all the tribes living in Nigeria, outside Nigeria and within the world, the world cannot survive and cannot leave until when there is peace, the Fulani man should be able to embrace his brothers who are farmers. A Fulani man should be able to embrace any other tribe to look at him as a brother”.
He suggested that whole country should be united against insecurity, “we should look at ourselves as one people created by God Almighty and he decides on what to do. We should look at ourselves as brothers. People all over the world should embrace peace, allow people to belief in their tribes, what they practice, allow them to belief in their religion, belief in their culture if it doesn’t tally with your culture belief with your own culture and try to understand others, what you like or what you don’t like should not be a yardstick where by you go through means of causing trouble all over the country to resolve your differences”.