Following a land dispute between herdsmen and farmers in the state
that led death of nine persons in Misau local government area of
Bauchi state, Governor Bala Mohammed, has inaugurated a 21- member
administrative committee of inquiry to forestall similar occurrence in
parts of the state.
Speaking shortly after taking their oath of office and oath of allegance administered by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar, at the Banquet Hall of Government
House, Bauchi, on Wednesday, Governor Mohammed, warned that his administration
would not tolerate similar occurrences as any person or group of
persons found to be involved directly or indirectly in causing such
clashes would be dealt with in accordance with the laws.
He said the administration decided to set up a larger and powerful
committee that is all encompassing and involved all the departments
that have to do with managing lands, forest and local authorities
throughout the 20 Local Government areas to identify similar problems
and challenges in order to address them holistically.
“It is in view of the forgoing and in the exercise of the powers
confer on me by laws Cap 25 Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963 as
applicable to Bauchi State in section 33 of the Laws of Bauchi State
1991 and all relevant laws that I set up this administrative committee
of inquiry into land dispute between herders and farmers cause d by
land use abuse, illegal allocation, in local government areas across
Bauchi State.” He said.
Governor Mohammed, who said the committee has four weeks to submit its
report, said the terms of reference among others, include to visit all
the 20 local government areas particularly government reserves forests
in the state with a view to ascertaining their sanctity or otherwise;
investigate and determine if such government reserves areas are being
illegally allocated by unauthorised persons or group of persons and
those persons who are beneficiaries of such illegal allocation.
Other terms of reference are to determine the person or authority
directly or indirectly involved in such an illegal allocation of a
portion of government reserves areas or cattle route; to determine all
cattle routes within and outside the government reserves and identify
area of portion of encroachment by farmers.
The committee of inquiry, the governor announced, would also make
recommendations on measures to be taken in order to establish the
cattle route and forests reserves as well as prevent herders-farmers
conflicts in the state.
It will also make any other recommendation that will promote permanent
solution of herders- famers clashes across the state especially with
regards to land allocation and right of passage “ looking at all the
practices and procedures of the laws established by states like Jigawa
so that there won’t be any room for clash or land speculation,” he
Turning to the members, Governor Mohammed said, “Let me make it clear
that the decision to appoint you to serve in this committee was
informed by your track record of sincerity, fairness, justice,
commitment at work and above all fear of Allah. I will therefore like
to urge you to once again justify the confidence impose in you by
effectively carrying out this assignment without fear and favour. You
must be transparent, focus, resourceful ion the execution of this
Responding on behalf of members of the committee of Inquiry, the
Chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Baba, former Surveyor General of Bauchi State,
assured the governor that they would do their utmost best to ensure
that report identify the remote and immediate causes of the lingering
land disputes across the state and come up with suggestions that would
enable the current administration come up with lasting peace.