President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja met with the leadership of the Hausa/Fulani community in Plateau as part of ongoing efforts at finding lasting solution to the Jos crises.
Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, spokesman of the Hausa/Fulani community and a former Minister of State for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, commended the president for embarking on another initiative toward addressing the protracted crises in Plateau.
He said the group was invited by the Presidency to suggest how best to tackle the Jos crises so as to enhance tolerance, accommodation and respect for one another for the general progress of the inhabitants of the state.
He called for the implementation of the reports of the various Commissions of Inquiry on Jos crises, constituted by the Federal Government, particularly the Abisoye Report and the Advisory Committee headed by Chief Solomon Lar.
He, however, noted that the commissions of inquiry set up by the Plateau State Government had lost contemporary relevance and hence should be discarded.
“Most of the commissions of inquiry, especially those that had been set up by Plateau government, we have said that all those commissions of inquiry have lost contemporary relevance.
“But, we are confident that the ones that had been set up by the Federal Government, especially the retired General Abisoye report as well as the Advisory Committee on Jos Crisis, headed by Solomon Lar, we are comfortable with that.
“But, the rest are in fact subjudice and, therefore, cannot be implemented.’’
Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, the Protem National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, appealed to the Federal Government to hasten actions on the provision of grazing reserves for herdsmen in Plateau.
He said the provision of the grazing reserves would address the protracted communal conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
“The issue of the conflict between cattle herdsmen and farmers which some people have basically said is responsible for some of these crises, we have appealed to Mr. President to address this issue.
“This is so that the cattle herdsmen in Plateau State, especially those in problem areas like Jos South, Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Bassa, have the grazing reserves.
“With the grazing reserves, the conflicts between cattle herdsmen and farmers will be reduced to a minimum level and when that is done, reprisal attacks, will end.’’
Bayari urged the government to address the issue of indigenes/settlers dichotomy in Plateau, saying that Fulani herdsmen were not settlers in Plateau.
“Fulani man has been living in Plateau State for 7,000 years; he is still within Plateau, but every year on seasonal basis, he moves from one place to the other.
“He does not settle in one place because he does not have the luxury of staying in one place because he has cattle to look after.
“This does not mean that because he cannot stay in one place, based on his occupational style, you say that he is a settler or he does not belong there.’’
President Goodluck Jonathan held similar meeting with Elders of Berom in Plateau last Tuesday as part of ongoing efforts at finding lasting peace in Jos and its environs.
The Berom Elders who also spoke to the State House correspondents after the meeting, called for the implementation of the reports of the various committees of inquiry constituted by both the Plateau and the Federal Government on the Jos crises. (NAN)