By Francis Ezediuno
Th Fulani herdsmen and Yoruba farmers in the State of Osun have resolved on modalities to maintain peace and order in the state.
The parties agreed when the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command held a stakeholders sensitization programme to create awareness on the activities of herdsmen who might transverse the length and breadth of the State in search of water and fodders for their animals as the dry season approaches thereby destroying farmland along their path.
The State Commandant of the corp; Mr. Aboluwoye Akinwande while welcoming stakeholders thanked them for past successes recorded and their willingness to cooperate with the Agro-Ranger Unit of the Corps by making information available to the Unit as and when due.
He noted that this approach would help in no small measures in nipping in the bud any crisis between the farmers and herdsmen in the State.
The Commandant appealed to the participants to be peace loving and ensure that their co-existence is to foster strength and unity among the various ethnic groups.
The head of the Unit, Assistant Commandant Yaqee R.O. urged stakeholders to embrace peaceful dialogue in resolving disagreements instead of resulting to violence.
According to him, “neither party can live in isolation. There is need for each ethnic group to co-habit peacefully in other to achieved progress in any community even the country as a whole”.
The Assistant Commandant revealed that over thirty five cases had been resolved since the establishment of the Unit while several of such issues have been nipped in the bud.
He commended the Osun State Government for setting up the Peace Committee and the efforts of Alhaji Mudashiru Togun, the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties, in making sure issues are resolved peacefully.
“The stakeholder meeting was to seek cooperation among the participants, prove ways of tackling the menace of farmers/herdsmen crisis even as we approach the dry season”, he added.
He called on all groups and associations to be vigilant and give urgent and useful information to the Corps and promised absolute assistance in ensuring peaceful coexistence.
Meanwhile, the farmers have said that it was not the resident Fulanis that are usually the problem but the nomads usually known as Bororo.
According to them, “ most of them are involved in cattle rustling and pilfering activities”.
Notable cases in the State were mentioned which for instance included cattle which were made to graze cashew plantation, eat up the nuts and later pass out the nuts when they are back to their pen. The Fulani then select the nut, wash and sold same.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria through their representative commended the NSCDC for performing their mandate responsibly and dutifully.
He also applauded the effort of the Corps in ensuring peace among the stakeholders.
Both parties enumerated some cogent points to maintain peace and order.