- To create a combined association
- To give agricultural support to members
- Setting up peace committees at all LGA
Kogi state government yesterday took the lead in finding lasting solutions to the Herdsmen / Farmer crisis, when it conveyed a stakeholder’s round table meeting between cattle herdsmen, farmers and relevant stakeholders in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Hon, David Edward Onoja, Chief of Staff to Kogi state governor in his keynote address, emphasised the importance and reasons why there is a need to come together to discuss and dialogue , as top priority of everything under the surface of the earth is human life. He reiterated the need to place high premium on human lives than any other thing.
The representative of the Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Alike Peters who represented the Chief Audu Ogbe, minister of Agriculture said, he was sent by the Minister to hear from the various sides and see where there can be Federal government intervention, because it is only a willing state that can be cooperated and collaborated with. He charged the stakeholders and government to seize the opportunity of Land, water and a willing governor.
In his welcome address, the governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello , welcomed all to the occasion. He urged all to relax, dialogue and talk. He said what the dialogue is aimed at achieving the gathering of propositions from various stakeholders, believing that Kogi will set the pace for other state in Nigeria to follow on the Herdsmen and farmer crisis issues and on how to live together with one another in peace.
He said “No one has the monopoly of depriving or sending any other away, or from living together and going about their normal businesses, so long as the constitution aggress to that, It is therefore within the powers of such individual to co-habit with others” Residents and citizens must look at ourselves as on indivisible entity, he said.
The representative of the farmers while delivering her address said they are highly aggrieved but after attending a joint meeting with the Miyett Allah and government last November, there has been peace. She assured the gathering that they would dialogue and abide by the terms agreed upon.
Aliyu Sani, the National Organising Secretary of Miyeti Allah, in his own remark while responding, collaborated the story of the farmer representatives. He further said there is a need to set up the peace committees at different Local Government Areas. He said it is only in Lokoja LGA where the current Administrator, Shiru Lawal has put in place such mechanism that has checkmated excesses of herdsmen and farmers and pruned downed killings between herdsmen and farmers to zero.
He said that the Miyeti Allah in Kogi state after meeting with the state government on the 29th of November, 2017, went back to their settlements and agreed collectively to expose the bad eggs in their midst who are suspected to be, the kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers etc. He said they have been volunteering information about such people to the police and it has been yielding result.
The Miyeti Allah leader rounded off by saying that, since the last meeting they had with the state government on the 29th of November 2017, there have been no killing, no kidnapping, and no farm encroachment.
Various speakers commended the efforts and style of the governor on security, thanking him for the proactive measures he has put in place, which has brought about the long lasting peace being enjoyed at the moment
Responding, Governor Yahaya Bello instructed all Local government administrators to meet with all traditional rulers in their areas, farmers, herdsmen, youth and come up with their various solutions that are synonymous to their peculiar problems.
He also suggested that farmers, herdsmen, traditional rulers, youth and all stakeholders should form the Agricultural Revolution Association of Kogi State; this association would enjoy supports from the Kogi state ministry of agriculture government. The scheme would be supervised by an Agricultural Revolution council made up of government officials, so that it can be well coordinated, linking them with available markets. It would generate revenue and employment for members, government and the teaming unemployed.
Also, the state government would identify cattle routes and encourage farmers not to farm on such routes while Herdsmen would pay such farmer.
The meeting was conveyed by the Kogi State Security Adviser, Navy Com Jerry Omodara (rtd), it was held at the Lokoja township stadium and was attended by traditional rulers, political office holders, and stakeholders from both state and Federal government.
Picture Credit: InsideStory Ng