THE protracted crises that recently engulfed Jos-North, Jos-South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi local councils of Plateau State involving Hausa/Fulani and Berom ethnic groups may have been resolved.
This is because Special Adviser to the Governor on Peace Building, Timothy Parlong, in collaboration with James and Elizabeth Pam Foundation and former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, at the weekend held a meeting with the warring groups where both sides stated their grievances and agreed to sheath their swords.
In their position papers, the Fulani community stated that the Berom had humiliated them for far too long without any attempt by the state government or the security agencies to intervene.
According to the Fulani, the Berom had attacked them at different times and killed over 600 of them, including children and women, destroying their homes, farms and stealing no fewer that 300 cows from them.
They demanded that the Berom stopped the attacks, returned the stolen cows or paid compensation on them in order to end the crises.
They also called on the government to address the issues of indigeneship and ensure that gazing reserves were created and protected in farmer/grazer flash-points, especially in Jos-South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom local councils.
But the Berom disagreed with the Fulani positions that “a situation where Fulani always leave their cattle loose on the Berom farmland and destroy crops or allow the cattle to drink water directly from the source is unacceptable. This sometimes sparks off disagreements between the breeders and the farmers.
“More worrisome is that the Fulani let the cattle drink from the same source the Berom drink. The cattle usually muddle up the water; make it undrinkable and dangerous for domestic and household use.”
The Fulani community was also told to be “proud of wherever they came from and to associate themselves with their places of origin, with the understanding that integration and assimilation will ultimately come without any intimidation and antagonism”.
The Berom said they were ready to enter into “lease agreement with the Nigerian Fulani only if they agree that any Fulani seeking land consults with the Ardo in the area and the landowner is then met for tenancy agreements.”