Sultan to wade into Tiv/Fulani clashes next week – Suswan
By: Luka Binniyat
KADUNA – As part of finding lasting solutions to the incessant bloody clashes between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen on the boundary between Nasara and Benue state, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar (III) would hold talks with Fulani leaders and Muslims clerics in Benue next week.
This was made known to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday by Governor Gabriel Suwsan of Benue state, when he attended the last meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF).
Suswan also defended the many meetings held by the NSGF on security on the North, saying the security situation of the North would have been worse if they had not been constantly meeting and implementing some decisions taken at such meetings.
On Fulani/Tiv clashes
Suswan had this to say on the Tiv/Fulani clashes : “ We have been doing a lot to see to the end of famers and Fulani clashes. Myself and the governor of Nasarwa state have form a committees that have recommended far reaching decisions. We hope to take that report this month. Beyond that, we have formed more committees along the border areas between Benue and Nasarawa states. The local chiefs and the Local Government Chairman of affected areas are members. The Governor of Nasarawa state has done the same. He has also formed Community committees within Nasarawa state who are monitoring and proffering solutions to the two sides. I have also formed a committee within the Fulani leadership in Benue and some communities in Benue.
“You will observe that there has been less of such clashes within the past one month or so.
“ But there is an angle to it that is a more disturbing. It is no longer an issue of Fulani herdsmen clashing with farmers. There is an element of criminality introduced into it. There are these criminals who would go and rustle Fulani cows. They may come from anywhere. But, the Fulani does not know who steal his cows. The thieves may not be Tivs. All he wants is his cows back. So, there is an element of criminality in it. Otherwise, as relate to famers and Fulani herdsmen, we have substantially addressed the issue. By the grace of God, we shall soon all put that to rest.
“I have also invited the Sultan of Sokoto to come to Benue on the 25th of this month (May) to perform a function and to sit down with the leaders of the Fulani and the leader of the Muslims here for us to forge a way forward. They will listen to him, because they respect him. I have done that before. The Governor of Nasarawa state and I have been doing quit a lot on this”, he said.
violence in the north
“If we have not been meeting, the problems we are having today may have been worse. Each time we meet, we share intelligence, think over what we have and we take certain decisions that have helped in reducing the problems.
“One thing that people should realise is that bombings by Muslims on Muslims; Muslims bombing Christians in the North is a very new and strange development. We have never had it, so we were not prepared for it. It is a very sad thing. But with the steps we are taking, we are begging to understand the problems better. And I can assure you that".