The Working Group of the last National Economic Council meeting (NEC), headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has set up a sub-committee headed by Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, to meet with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, (MACBAN) and other groups with the aim of ending the continued killings arising from clashes between herdsmen and local farmers.
The committee is free to invite other members who will assist it in holding a dialogue with critical stakeholders that will seek an end to the killings.
This was disclosed to State House Correspondents by the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, at the end of the three-hour meeting presided over by Vice President Osinbajo in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Those in attendance were Governors Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa); Deputy Governors of Benue, Benson Abonu, Oyo, Chief Moses Adeyemo, as well as Ministers of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and Interior, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau.
The NEC Working Group consists of Governors from Zamfara, Kaduna, Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Ebonyi and Oyo States.
The Working Group was set up in a renewed bid to end the impunity that has marked the activities of Fulani herdsmen which has resulted in several deaths and maiming especially in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Nasarawa states.
Daily Sun had reported on Monday that the Federal Government has opted for full military force to deal with the bandits believed to be behind the killings in parts of the country especially regarding the crisis often associated with herdsmen.
At its inaugural meeting, the Working Group has concluded concluded that the crisis also required a political solution considering the religious and ethnic tones that could easily become further exacerbated and possibly worsen the situation if proper and timely care is not taken.
Yari told newsmen in Thursday when asked if progress has been made to find lasting solution to the crisis that:
“There is progress. One, this committee is a NEC committee established by the Vice President so that this issue of herdsmen/farmers clashes will be put to rest.
“Though is a long standing problems since 2007 in some states particularly in my own state, we have been battling with it. Now the states and federal government under the leadership of the Vice President, we agreed to have a small committee at NEC so that the situation will not get out of hand, so that it won’t be looked at as an ethnicity crisis or religious crisis.
“So, in our discussion today, we have set up a committee headed by governor of Ebonyi State, while Plateau and Adamawa governors are members, and we are bringing some technocrats that will visit hotspots states, like Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Zamfara, where there is crisis so that they can interface with the Meyitta Allah and other group to see how we can reduce this to the bearest minimum. Why we cannot say we can put this matter to rest is because some of them have taken this as a money making venture, some are criminals who hide under this to perpetrate this act.
“As government we have to take all the measures despite the fact that the Army, Police, all the security agents are on the field at the respective places, still we have to form this committee to interface with those actors so that this matter can be reduced to the barest minimum and possibly boy wipes off.” The Sun