Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
The committee set up by the National Economic Council to end the protracted herdsmen-farmers crisis has asked Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, to review the state’s anti open grazing law.
The committee, which is headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the review has become imperative in order to accommodate all parties to the crisis.
Briefing journalists at the end of a three-day meeting with stakeholders in Jalingo yesterday, the Chairman of the Committee’s Technical Subcommittee, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, stated that the committee resolved that sections 23, 24 and 25 of the state anti open grazing law should be revisited.
Umahi noted that the committee took the decision following complaints by the leadership of Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACABAN) over the particular sections of the law.
He, however, revealed that Ishaku and other stakeholders had agreed to the committee’s resolution in the interest of peace even though MACABAN had refused to participate in the public hearing conducted before the passage of the law in the interest of peace.
“Ishaku with other stakeholder have graciously agreed to review the state anti-open grazing and ranches establishment law to accommodate all parties.
“We discover that MACABAN refused to participate in the public hearing that ushered in the law, but now that they are ready to do so, we are sure of a peaceful resolution,” he said.
Umahi further stated that the committee resolved that all court cases filed regarding the law should be suspended forthwith to enable the committee carry out its assignment.
He, however, noted that it was resolved and agreed by all the stakeholders at the end of the meeting that ranching would help to resolve the lingering crisis as he revealed that the Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Mr. Haruna Manu, would chair the state peace and reconciliation committee he inaugurated at the end of the meeting.
Stakeholders represented in the state peace committee which would continue with the peace efforts and report to the national committee, according to Umahi, include farmer associations, MACABAN, security agencies and representatives of government.
He appealed to all parties in the conflict to join hands with the government and assist the peace committee to find lasting solutions to the crisis just as he enjoined them to shun actions that could jeopardise the work of the committee.