THE Defence Headquarters Committee on Persistent Farmers/Herdsmen Clashes in the country is in Zamfara as part of its fact-finding tour to affected states.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee arrived in Gusau, the Zamfara capital on Tuesday for a two-day visit, where it met with the state’s acting governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala.
The committee members then visited Anka and Dansadau emirates as the most affected areas by cattle rustling and banditary in the state.
While in Anka the Chairman of the committee, Maj.- Gen. Edward Nze, said they were in the state to interact and discuss with stakeholders so as to get information about the menace of cattle rustling and armed attacks between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Nze said President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olanishakin to set up the committee in order to find lasting solution to the farmer/herdsmen clashes.
He said “we visited Enugu State in the South-East and Nasarawa and Benue in the North-Central and we are here in Zamfara in North- West,
after which we will move to South Western states.
“We are here to discuss the menace of cattle rustling and armed attacks which removed many Fulani herdsmen from their respective homes to other parts of the country, which also cause clashes between them and farmers.
“As traditional rulers and fathers of the society, we are here to get relevant information about these activities.’’
Responding, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmed, the Emir of Anka and chairman of the state’s Council of Chiefs, commended the Federal Government for setting up the committee, saying it came at the right time.
Ahmad said that the issue of cattle rustling and banditry was almost a daily affair in Zamfara because out of the 14 local government areas of the state, only two could be said to be not affected.
He added that “what we are experiencing in Zamfara is beyond farmers/ herdsmen clashes but another issue entirely different from that; in fact, it is an issue between the public and unlawful group of people who embarked on killing of innocent people, cattle rustling, rapping and kidnapping, among others.
“It is rather unfortunate because our farmers and herdsmen have been living peacefully together for long without any problem and both have been affected by the attacks, therefore we don’t believe that this is ethnic or tribal issue.’’