//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna//
LEADERSHIP of Fulani in Godogodo Chiefdom and Sanga, Jema’a and Sanga local government areas of Kaduna State on Monday broke silence over rationale behind renewed bloody attacks on the communities, saying native farmers have encroached the grazing route and attacked herdsmen whom were piloting their cattle on their normal routes at Ninte village, the outskirt of Godogodo.
They said one Mr. Ango, a farmer, had sometime in 2016 challenged two Fulani herdsmen and their cattle on the basis that they were trespassing his farmland which the Fulani boys quickly insisted that the said land has been a cattle route since time immemorial.
It will be recalled that before now, the reasons behind the renewed killings in Southern part of Kaduna state are not known to both the state government and security apparatuses in the state thereby making it difficult to brokers peace with the warring parties, though the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and General Officer Commanding, 1 Mechanized Division of Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade had at various occasions help peace talks with the communities people.
Addressing newsmen at joint press briefing in Kaduna, Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Abdulhamid Musa who was flanked by Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Jama’a Foundation and Ahmed Yahdeh, Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, said as urgly as the situation is, the matter is usually exacerbated by partisan and judgemental narratives and counter narratives by partisan interests of who is right or wrong while the key drivers of conflict such as propensity for crime, self-help, injustice, governmental inaction among other were ignored.
They said their intention of addressing the media was to correct some wrong impressions already in public domain about the killings in Southern Kaduna, alleging that it has been one sided all along.
According to Abdulhamid, “What triggered the latest attack in Godogodo Chiefdom started from Ninte village is that two Fulani herdsmen piloting their cattle on their normal route, one Mr Ango challenged them that they were trespassing his farmland. The two Fulani boys insisted that the sad land has been a cattle route since time immemorial.
“This incident resulted into argument between the herdsmen and Mr. Ango. As a result of that, one of the Fulani boys on seeing Mr Ango overpowered and inflicting injuries on his brother, he decided to assist his injured brother by using his matchet on Mr. Ango who sustained injuries in the process and both if them were rushed to the hospital for medical treatment.
“Incedentally, father of the wounded boy, Alhaji Idi Bali was at the clinic nursing a relation; he suddenly saw his son and Mr. Ango rushed into the clinic and when he enquired, he was in haste to meet with Fulani elders to see how the matter will be resolved amicably. But the son of the wounded farmer and some youths had already razed his house and when they met him on the way, they killed and set him ablaze.
“Unfortunately, In the usual characteristic of the so-called indigenous tribes of Southern Kaduna, especially the youths who are known for disrespect, arrogance, violence and vendetta, went about singing and dancing victory songs after the killing.
“This unsolicited barbaric act came as a rude shock to many especially the Fulani herdsmen, and expectedly irked them for appropriate response, having seen the security agencies as usual, made no move to arrest the culprits despite the report made, as the venue of the venue of the incident is known and the assailants are also known.
They recommended that known cattle routes be retraced, re-demarcated and cleared, establishment of security outfits, removal and banning of illegal road blocks, check and balance of domain by traditional institutions, establishment of truth and reconciliation committee by the state government among others.
They however said the series of meetings, dialogue with the Chief of Godogodo, his District Head and other community leaders to salvage the situation are welcome, just as they contended with the move by national body of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Kaduna state government and other spirited individuals to resolve the controversy to allow development taking place in the affected community.