FULANI HERDSMEN – Fulani herdsmen have surrendered 30 different guns illegally acquired, to the Police Command in Niger.
The Director-General of the state’s Department of Nomadic Affairs, Alhaji Abdullahi Babayo, disclosed this to journalists in Minna yesterday.
He said that the arms were surrendered sequel to peace and reconciliation initiated by the department to enhance peaceful coexistence in the state.
Babayo said his office had already embarked on aggressive sensitisation campaign on the dangers of cattle rustling.
“We have reached out to Islamic clerics, specifically to teach us what our religion said about stealing and killing innocent souls and the punishment thereafter,” he said.
The director-general explained that the approach from the religious point of view had greatly assisted in mobilising those who were doing illegal business to have a rethink.
He said that all efforts were geared toward mobilising Fulani Herdsmen to embrace western and Islamic education to enable them to contribute to the socio-economic and political development of the state.
“We are doing everything possible to stop clashes between herdsmen and farmers over land encroachment during grazing, cattle rustling or other crimes in the state,” he said.
He called for demarcation of cattle routes while attributing the increase in cases of conflict between farmers and herdsmen to the non-existence of such routes.
Babayo said the department would continue to partner with security agencies by offering intelligence information on bad elements.
He called for more investment in the education of herdsmen and farmers’ children, stressing that illiteracy was also breeding crimes among the groups.
Babayo enjoined herdsmen to enrol their children, especially girls, in schools.