As part of resolutions to end the lingering crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Benue, the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday called on the federal government to set up a judicial commission of enquiry to look into the problems of the communities.
A statement by the state CAN Chairman, Rev. Akpen Leva, signed by his media aide, Sam Tyav stated that the commission of enquiry would bring lasting solutions to the crisis which he said has continued unabated.
The CAN palliative is coming even as the warring parties have reportedly agreed to sheath their swords and embrace peace, at a town hall meeting held in Abuja to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting earlier on Monday, the leadership of the cattle breeders and prominent Agatu farmers resolved on the immediate cessation of hostilities between the Idoma in Agatu and the Fulani nomadic community carrying out grazing activities in the area.
At a joint world press conference by the two parties, the national leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, was directed to order its Benue and Nasarawa State chapters to immediately order all Fulani herdsmen carrying out grazing activities in Agatu to immediately withdraw and move to Nasarawa state while dialogue towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict is on-going.
Agatu youths, the communiqué read at the conference further stated, should desist from patrolling the river banks until when better understanding is achieved between the two parties.
The communiqué also urged the Federal Government to set up a high powered committee that will include the leadership of the Idoma Initiative and MACBAN to comprehensively look into the immediate and remote causes of the crisis with the view to finding a lasting solution to it.
“A peace football match should be organised between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and a joint team comprising the Idomas and the Fulanis. The football match should be played at the National Stadium, Abuja and be organised in conjunction with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.
“The match should be aimed at raising awareness of the peaceful resolution of the conflict and to raise funds towards the reconstruction of the properties destroyed in the crisis.
The conveners agreed that all future conflicts arising between the Idoma people of Agatu and Fulani herdsmen should be addressed through dialogue rather than violence as was the recent case.
They urged Benue State governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom to immediately visit Agatu with his cabinet members for an on the spot assessment of the situation and ensure that rapid development of the crisis areas are commenced. We believe when this is done, it will go a long way in pacifying the victims of the crisis,’’ the communiqué said.
The communiqué was signed by Barrister Paul Edeh, the Convener of Idoma Initiative, Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, the National President of MACBAN and Baba Othman Ngelzarma, its National Secretary.

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