Gyang Bere, Jos
Fulani and Berom leaders in Plateau State are urging the Federal Government to stop the spate of killings in Benue and Zamfara states from spreading to the middle belt state.
The stakeholders said serious security measures must be put in place to check the movement of criminal elements into the state, especially now that the farming season has approached.
The community leaders spoke on Saturday at the end of conflict sensitization workshop for traditional and community leaders in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas, organised by Search For Common Ground Nigeria and facilitated by the Project Officer, Ishaku Shuiabu, held in Riyom LGA, Plateau State.
A traditional ruler from Riyom LGA, Da Dalyop Markus, called for unity between the Berom community and Fulani herdsmen in the rural areas and a stop to the habouring criminal elements who are bent on inflicting pain and havoc on the people.
“With the killings that is currently taking place in Benue, Zamfara and other parts of the North, the Federal Government should take necessary measures to stop the spread of the killings to Plateau. We should stand to resist anything that will disrupt peace in our state.
A leader of Berom Women Development Association (BEWDA) Riyom LGA, Deborah Emmanuel lamented that several persons, mostly women, children and the aged have perished during several herdsmen attacks in the Local Government.
“Women in Riyom and Barkin-Ladi are pleading with Federal Government to put in place necessary security measures to enable us go to our farms.The workshop put together by Search for Common Ground will help in inculcating the culture of tolerance and mutual understanding between farmers and herdsmen in the State.”
Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Riyom Local Government Area, Alh. Mato Ibrahim, challenged the Fulanis and the natives to return to the old culture of tolerance where there was inter-marriage between the Fulanis and the natives.
He said for there to be permanent peace, the Fulanis and the Berom community in Riyom and Barkin-Ladi should forgive each other and come up with a common ground that will foster peaceful co-existence.
Alh. Ibrahim said the Federal Government should take proactive steps in punishing those who have been found wanting in the crisis in Riyom and Barkin-Ladi Local Government to serve as deterrent to other perpetrators.
Representative of National Orientation Agency, Plateau State, Susan Nuffy called for the establishment of formidable security force in the rural communities to protect farmers and herdsmen now that the farming season has come.
She explained that farmers in respectives communities in Barkin-Ladi are fearful of going to their farms especially now that the raining season is gradually coming up.
Principal Research Officer of National Human Rights Commission, Plateau State, Alubo Innocent, said the Fulanis and the natives need to respect the rights of each other for there to be enduring peace.