Federal government committee urges Taraba communities to end violence

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, (in red cap) and Chairman, National Economic Council Technical sub Committee on Ending Herders/Farmers Crisis, with other members of the committee.

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, who is also the Chairman, National Economic Council Technical sub Committee on Ending Herders/Farmers Crisis, has urged warring communities in Taraba to eschew violence and embrace peace.

Umahi made the appeal on Monday, at a stakeholders’ meeting with people of the state on the way out of the lingering herders/farmers crisis.

The governor said life was sacred, and warned that under no circumstance should people kill one another.

He dismissed the rumour that Federal Government had directed states to give land for cattle colonies.

Umahi explained that the Land Use Act gave state governors powers over the lands in their respective states, adding that Federal Government would not forcefully take land from states for whatever reason.

According to him, 13 states have so far indicated interest to donate land for cattle colonies.

He noted that only Federal Government had the power over the land in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He said “we are out to identify problems peculiar to states affected by the herders/farmers crisis with a view to providing lasting solution to the crisis.

“We had useful interactions with stakeholders in Benue and Nasarawa states. I hope we would have similar useful discussions here in Jalingo that would take us out of this problem.”

Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba said the people of the state held the team in high esteem, with expectations that far reaching recommendations would be reached.

He added that “the killings in Taraba and other parts of the country were most unfortunate.

“The issue of grazing should not bring crisis in the country, I implore the committee to take a deeper look into the issue and find a lasting solution.

“As a governor, I am not aware of any gazetted grazing reserve and I have not been presented with any document concerning grazing reserves in the state since my assumption of office.

“Even where such exist in some states, developments and the increase in population has over taken such areas and that is why we must find a way out of the challenge.

“For us in Taraba, the open grazing and ranches establishment law is part of our solution to the problem.”

The interactive session, which began on Sunday, is ongoing with all aggrieved factions in attendance.