Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Senator representing Yobe East senatorial district, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, yesterday said only deliberate moves by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resettle herdsmen can put paid to recurrent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in West Africa.
The senator who made the call while speaking with journalists in Abuja, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of governments of other West African countries to promptly intervene in the matter.
He said the entire 15 countries in the region must be involved in the move if the menace is expected to be tackled once and for all, noting that the problem had been persistent for over 100 years.
`”The issue of the very volatile relationship between the herdsmen and farmers means it is a war between all the communities in the country. There is war in all the 15 West African countries and it is not a new problem; ever since I was born, I was born into it.
I am half Fulani, half Kanuri. This problem will not go away until and unless the 15 governments of ECOWAS do something drastic, revolutionary and fundamental about it.
“There is no other solution rather than the resettlement of the herdsmen with assistance of all the governments of the 15 countries in the ECOWAS region.
Now, time has come and because of what is happening particularly in Nigeria, in Niger, in Mali and just yesterday in Ghana, to find solution to this problem. Whatever committee is set up to look into this matter, eventually the solution is resettlement – resettle these herdsmen with their cattle.
“You can look at it from several angles: from the political angle, politicians cannot just fold their arms and see herdsmen killing farmers or farmers killing herdsmen,” he said.