Saturday, 3 December 2016

Northern Traditional Rulers Want Benue, Zamfara And Kaduna Killings Stopped

The Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC) yesterday called for an end to the mindless killings in  Zamfara and  Benue states and in southern Kaduna.

The northern monarchs also called on the military to sustain the pressure on the Boko Haram insurgents, just as as it urged the Nigeria Victims Support Fund (VSF), headed by General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (retd) to do all it can to ameliorate the difficulties the IDPs face.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting at Arewa House, Kaduna, Kaduna State, between Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th November, 2016,  which was presided over by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the northern monarchs praised the anti-corruption war of the Buhari administration, saying it was in order.

The traditional rulers further pledged to do everything within their power to to assist the military and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

They further asked the the government to tackle the twin problems of cattle rustling and Niger Delta insurgency with the urgency they deserve, in view of the tremendous danger they pose to the country’s economy and security.

The meeting was attended by the chairmen and three members each from the traditional councils of the 19 northern states and the FCT, Abuja.

In his speech, the Sultan of Sokoto congratulated the Nigerian Military for its steadfastness in routing the Boko Haram insurgents.

He, however, lamented the continued suffering of the IDP in the camps; the rising loss of lives and property as a result of livestock rustling in Zamfara State and other states; farmers and herders clashes in Benue State; ethnic conflicts in Southern part of Kaduna State and the Niger Delta militancy in the South-South.

The communiqué was signed by Emir of Gummi and chairman, Coordinating Committee, NTRC, His Royal Highness, Justice Lawal Hassan. It expressed its support to the government’s war against corruption and insecurity.

Part of the communiqué reads: “The Council resolved to continue to support the government towards achieving peace, stability and good governance.

“We noted the continued the escalation of livestock rustling and herders/farmers clashes that are claiming hundreds of innocent lives and billions of Naira worth of properties, especially in Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Benue States.

“The Council calls on government to immediately set up a Peace and Reconciliation Committee to tackle the perennial herders/farmers clashes.

“In a similar vein, government should take decisive action against the criminal livestock rustlers. On our part, the Council resolved to give all the required support to both the envisaged Peace and Reconciliation Committee and to the security agencies for the successful containment of these menaces.”

The communiqué identified the unavailability of adequate grazing reserves and livestock routes as two of the major triggers of the incessant clashes between herders and farmers, noting that grazing reserves and livestock routes that existed in the past had been had been taken over or encroached upon for other uses.

The Council therefore called for the provision of grazing reserves and livestock routes that should be legally gazetted and protected, kitted with watering points and some of them developed into modern ranches.

The communiqué continued: “We noted the success recorded by the Military in the fight against insurgency in the North East and the relocation of some of the IDPs back to their homes.

“Council, however, noted the difficulties the remaining IDPs are encountering daily in the camps and the sporadic attacks by the remnants of the insurgents. Council therefore calls on the military to sustain the pressure on the insurgents.”

“The Victims Support Fund is also called upon to do the needful in ameliorating the difficulties the IDPs are encountering. Council also resolved to do whatever is possible to assist the military and the IDPs.”

On the economy, the traditional rulers acknowledged the efforts of the present administration to diversify the economy through through purposeful development of agriculture and solid minerals and resolved to support and encourage any programme geared towards the task of building a stable, strong and purposeful nation.

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