As part of its end of the year activities, the Confluence Youth for Peace and Development Initiative (CYPDI) a None Governmental Organisation (NGO) today took its peace campaign to the Hausa / Fulani Herdsmen domiciled in Zango Daji area of kogi State.
Receiving the group, the community leader Elder Bayo John, welcomed the group to his community expressing his joy at its coming. He said there is nothing he cannot give to attain peace and it has been working for the community from time, reason why there have been no serious alteration between the people and the Fulanis.
Chief Bayo said, they have been protecting the interest of the Fulani’s from time so that they are not unjustly cheated or extorted.
He said because he takes peace very seriously, he had to leave Ibadan to be able to attend today’s meeting.
Comrade Jatto Danbello, CYPDI’s President introduced the group to the community leader and his subjects for the purpose of the visit. Saying their can be no meaningful development where there is crisis.
The groups’ publicity secretary, Abduljabar Maikasuwa while addressing the gathering said, violence is very expensive, explaining that monies and resources that ordinarily would have been channelled towards development, are always channelled toward restoring peace, normalcy, reconstruction of destroyed properties etc.
Also speaking, a member of the group, Hon. Benjamin Amodu, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor On special Duties and Project monitoring appealed to the Fulanis to always make their cases known by reporting to relevant authorities when being incited, instead of resorting to taking laws into their hands.
Responding, the Fulani’s through their interpreter expressed happiness that the group visited, stating that only Action Aid has been interfacing with them for a time. Using the opportunity of the gathering, the Fulani’s said they love peaceful coexistence. They agreed that there are bad elements amongst them just like in other community and as such they support when the bad ones giving them bad names are being punished.
They further stated their challenges, complaints and grievances to the group. One of the very important complaints was against members of the SARs (Special Anti Robbery Squad) of the Nigeria Police, who they allege extort them, unjustifiably molest them at all times and at any slightest opportunity. They detain them until they start selling their cows to pay for release of such Fulanis.
They also said there are no paths to water and grazing for them, hence they pass through people’s farm with no intention of destroying any farmland, so as to get to grazing ground. They appealed to government to help them for this.
They further reminded government on the need to build hospitals and nomadic schools for their children who they want educated as well, saying that they also vote for government of the day and therefore qualified for social amenities.
Most importantly, they complained that teachers who are sent to their schools abscond, only to re surface when educational inspectors are coming to inspect the school. They said they are aware these teachers are paid their salaries on as at when due.
Rounding off the meeting, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on State Security and Intelligence, Rtd Major Solomon Idoga, thanked the Fulanis for finding time out of their busy schedule to attend the meeting. He appealed to them to preach peace amongst themselves and promise that all their complains have been taken note of and would be reported to the relevant authorities.
The meeting was held at the compound of the community head of Zango Daji community, Elder Bayo John and was attended by the Fulani’s, members of the CYPDI and political appointees, who are also members of the group