Berom Demands Reclamation of Land from Fulani Herdsmen

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By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
 

The Berom ethnic nationality in Plateau state has announced that it was not only rejecting the cattle colonies being proposed by the Federal Government, but that it was also calling on government to “demonstrate justice by helping it to reclaim its large portion of lands that has been forcefully taken away from us and occupied by some of the killer herdsmen.” 

Addressing the press in Jos yesterday, Berom Youth-moulders Association (BYM) noted that, “Our zone is chocked up by urbanisation and developments, while Tin mining has already devastated large portions of the land. We wish to state in unequivocal terms that we do not have land for cattle colonies.” 

President of the association, Rwas Choji Dalyop Chuwang said the call had become necessary because they were also worried that the current herdsmen currently occupying their lands were not the ones that had lived among them previously, lamenting that several of them had been traumatised, humiliated and killed by the herders who have also destroyed their property and chased them from their ancestral homes.

The group noted that, “The insecurity and further threats to the fragile security, exhibited through the numerous unprovoked attacks on innocent defenseless citizens by the herdsmen has become a real matter for concern not only to us as law abiding citizens but to all lovers of peace the world over and also the United Nations.

“The declaration by the President Buhari led government to establish cattle colonies in all the 36 states of the federation is viewed with a lot of skepticism and suspicion.  This is due to the wicked activities of the herdsmen in every state they desire to establish their rule.”

Chuwang said they were worried that the government whose main duty was to provide security to its citizens and provide good governance is the same that, knowing the very horrendous and dastardly activities of these herdsmen, is trying to settle them among hitherto peaceful communities.

The group observed that rearing of cattle was a private and personal business which should be left in the hands of relevant stakeholders. And that it believed that the land which Governor Simon Lalong claimed he had to offer for colonies in Plateau was the one that was already over-stretched in the Northern zone of the state.

 

“We may recall the events of last weekend in Ghana, when Prof. Sheikh Osman Bari addressed a World Press Conference on behalf of the Fulani herdsmen in Ghana.  In his conclusion, he said the petition has been copied the Sultan of Sokoto, President Buhari, the Lamido of Adamawa and other Fulani leaders in Mali and Senegal.  This has further heightened our suspicion that the colonies being craved for are a strategy towards completing the Uthman Danfodio Jihad of 1804.

 

“The Federal Government has also not played its role transparently to elicit our confidence. The utterance of the Minister of Defence that the herdsmen are indigenes and citizens of any state they decide to settle in raises more disturbing questions.

 

“The weakening of military formations in the middle belt and establishment of new military formations in the North East and North West points to some hidden plans by government, and makes the middle belt more vulnerable,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, no fewer than 300 persons, mostly women and children have been rendered homeless by the recent Fulani attacks in some Daffo communities in the central zone of the state.

 

The displaced are currently being camped at the COCIN Regional Church Council headquarters, Daffo, where the Church provides their feeding and accommodation among others.

 

Chairman of the regional council, Rev. Stephen Asugun who confirmed the figure said most of those being camped have lost their houses and means of survival, aside those killed in the attacks.

 

The Chief of Daffo community, Da Bitrus Maren, receiving a delegation of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) leaders led by its President, Rev. Dr. Dacholom Datiri in his palace in Daffo, Thursday expressed worry that no humanitarian aid has reached the village since the attacks.