The Edo state Police Command has met with the Miyetti Allah leadership in the state, over the herdsmen clashes with farmers
– The police commissioner said the command would no longer tolerate any act of impunity and that farmers should be able to go about their duties without fear
– The Miyetti Allah leadership said the association would put heads together and fish out the criminals; stressing that it is not a terrorist organisation
The Police Command in Edo on Wednesday, April 25, in Benin, met with the national leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers and representatives of herders and farmers in the state, as part of efforts to curtail the crisis between the two groups, NAN reports.
Declaring the meeting open, the commissioner of police, Johnson Kokumo, said that the meeting was part of the measures put in place to address the critical issues in the constant conflicts between both sides.
We gathers that Kokumo said this was to prevent the problems from degenerating, and to foster peaceful coexistence between the two parties.
He said that the national executives of Miyetti Allah were invited to speak with and sensitise their members as the culture of impunity by any persons would no longer be tolerated in the state.
He said farmers should be able to go about their normal businesses without fear of being attacked, kidnapped or maimed by herders under the guise of grazing.
The commissioner emphasised that the meeting was strictly a peace one aimed at finding a lasting solution to the lingering problem.
The national president of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Muhammad Kiruwa, said they were in the state to sensitise their members to the need for peaceful coexistence.
Kiruwa, who was represented by the national secretary of the union, Alhaji Baba Ngalzarma, condemned the wanton killings being perpetrated by those he described as Fulani cattle rustlers.
He stressed that the association had existed for more than 30 years, adding that the union was not a terrorist group and did not condone violence in any form.
He also decried the effects of the violence on members of the association whom he said had lost more than 3 million cows since the crisis started.
The national president said the association did not encourage night grazing and minors grazing, adding that these practices were part of the problem.
He also said that some of the crisis was “politically-linked”.
Kiruwa, however, expressed optimism that things would begin to change, and appealed to both farmers and herders against taking laws into their hands.
He said his association would “put heads together” and fish out the criminals.
In a related development, We earlier reported that an attack by suspected herdsmen on three Benue communities led to the deaths of about 37 persons while several others were injured and some missing.
The villages which were targeted in the attacks included Tse Umenger in Mbadwem council ward, Mbakpaase in Saghev council ward as well as Tse-Ali in Mbawaar council ward all of Guma local government area of Benue state.
A resident of Umenger said 15 people were killed in the community when heavily-armed bandits suspected to be herdsmen numbering over 50, stormed the Umenger village on Tuesday evening, April 23, and set the entire village on fire.