ALHAJI Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and the National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, has expressed support for the anti-open grazing law in Ekiti State.
This is as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the state has urged its members to obey the law to end crisis between farmers and herders while the state governor, Ayodele Fayose, promised to grant amnesty to any armed herder who surrenders such arms to security agencies in the state.
They spoke on Monday (19/02/2018) in Ado Ekiti, the state capital during a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Government House to find lasting solution to the crises between herders and farmers which had claimed about three lives in some communities in the state.
“My mission is not politics and it is about peace and peaceful coexistence of our nation. I am standing in here for the Emir and I am the Sardauna of Kano.
“The Emir mandated me to come over here with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and find out how we can work amicably. He feels that as a patron of the group he must ensure peace and lauded Governor Fayose for promoting peace.
“The law Governor Fayose enacted is the best to defend the rights of farmers and cattle breeders. Whoever crosses the red line should be dealt with as the law provides. That breeders should obey the rules of the communities they reside,” the Emir, who is the patron of MACBAN, and represented by former Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, said while frowning at the situation whereby some criminal elements would hide under grazing of herd to perpetrate crimes.
In his comment, Kiruwa, described the meeting as a great eye-opener and one that would put an end to incessant clashes between farmers and herders.
“I am really impressed with the governor for organising this meeting. Some state governors would just sit in their offices and not be proactive like Governor Fayose. Some misconceptions that I personally had against the governor have been cleared now.
“I can say it categorically that Governor Ayodele Fayose is a true leader of his people. He is definitely a lover of all groups including the Fulani people. I can say he is the Sarkin Fulani of Ekiti State. He is a peaceful leader and represents hope for all. We align ourselves with the grazing law as made by Ekiti State Government because it protects the interest of all parties,” he said.
Fayose said the essence of the meeting was to find peaceful means of resolving issues instead of beating the drums of war.
“A criminal is one and should be so treated. Our interest is peace. As we are interested in the welfare of everybody and we must not allow criminal elements to go free. Our relationship goes beyond cows. We must respect each other and we will cooperate to achieve result. We want Ekiti to be a shining example and anybody that needs to be charged to court or fined will be so disciplined,” he added.
Fayose also said herders in government forest reserves must come out and register with local government authorities or they would be treated as those causing trouble in the state.
He also accepted the invitation by Kiruwa to be part of the teams to mediate in the crises in Benue and Taraba states.