Monday, 4 December 2017

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Farmers/Fulani clash: Northern rulers, South East chiefs blame FG

Northern traditional rulers, emirs, as well as South East chiefs, yesterday blamed all levels of government, particularly the Federal Government, for the perennial clash between farmers and Fulani herdsmen across the country.

Speaking at the General Assembly of the traditional rulers in Arewa House, Kaduna, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111, who is the chairman of the Northern rulers, said if government had woken up to its responsibility, there would have been no bloody clash.
Alhaji Sa’ad said political leaders have, over the years, jettisoned recommendations by traditional institution on how to tackle unwarranted killings in the country.
This was even as the Chairman of the Enugu  State Council of Chiefs, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, agreed with the Sultan that should government take the advice of the monarch, the nation would be better off for it.
The South East chiefs were in attendance at the meeting on the invitation of the Northern rulers and emirs to compare notes on issues militating against peaceful co-existence in the country.

Sultan said: “We are here to discuss many issues affecting us as one people with the royal fathers from the South.
“Last year, our brothers from the East were with us in this same type of meeting. We did that to ensure that we have nothing to hide. We don’t have anything to hide except having good governance at all levels; we don’t have anything to hide except the desire for our leaders to do justice to all mankind no matter who is involved. 
“When we make such comments, it is to alert our political leaders on their responsibilities. When we don’t do that, almighty God will ask us on the day of judgement, that’s why we keep on talking about this, and will never call on anybody to take up arms. As a Fulani leader, I am the leader of Fulani’s in this country, and in the West African sub-region, I live with so many people and I know their problems.  I will never call on any Fulani to pick up arms to kill anybody. 
“I have said it so many times at so many fora, those people picking up arms killing people are criminals and whoever you are, whether you are Igbo , Hausa or Yoruba or Fulani, you have no right to take up arms and kill anybody.
“If you see such thing happening, then there must be a failure of government; but, if government wakes up to their responsibility, some of these things will not happen. 
We will keep on calling on everyone to please maintain peace and allow the constituted authorities to take up this issues, and we will continue to put pressure on them, until they continue to find solutions to this dastardly act.
“We talk about issues affecting our women and youths; I am talking about the drug abuse menace, it has been there, and it is getting out of hand. We will discuss this during the meeting to see how we can assist our various authorities on how to bring this to the minimum level.
“The abuse of drugs by women and youth is a very serious issue; we will discuss that and other insecurity issues affecting this country.

We will also discuss the issue of IDPs, because, I was told there are about 50 thousand orphans in each camp. Children who don’t know who their parents are. If we allow those children to grow up in IDP camps without knowing who their parents are, then we have a big problem in our hands. Nobody will later  know of their wherabouts.
“This is among the issues we are to discuss, and there’s possibility that some of us will adopt them after discussion with various government officials in their  various camps.  We can take some of them as our own children. We have started doing that, we have taken 150 children, and we will educate them to the highest level. We will call on others interested to do that as well.
“During this session, we will discuss some of those issues that are of concern, like the herdsmen/farmers clash, the various irresponsible killings of innocent women and  children, that people don’t want to talk about. We must talk about these things and we call on the governors never to keep away those things from their tables; we can not keep such things under the carpet because if we do that, we are encouraging more of such dastardly acts to be carried out by others.
“We have seen how innocent people have been killed, innocent children of two years, pregnant women killed, children brought out of their mothers womb.  I don’t know the type of people we  are.
“These are the issues we are saying we will never stop talking about, our political leaders should take the responsibility up and help us out, so we can have peace. Without justice, there won’t be peace. “
“So, we will discuss some of these issues amicably  in a public manner, so that when comments are made publicly, they are not misconstrued to be people calling for war or instability in the country.”
According to Chairman of Enugu State Council of Chiefs, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu:  “We saw that the Northern traditional rulers are conducting their affairs in the open and I believe this is in line with the person of who the Sultan of Sokoto is. 
“I believe strongly that if government listens to the advice of the Sultan, many things would go right, because he has the country at heart and frank on issues that concern the country. 
“We want traditional rulers to support the call for an additional state for the South East to show that the South East  is equally treated fairly like other regions in the country. 
“We are looking forward to when those around the President would behave like him,  that is selfless, incorruptible and up right.” .


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