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South-West farmers sign peace agreement with Fulani herdsmen

The two parties have agreed to forge a harmonious relationship going forward to promote food security for the benefit of all.

South-West farmers sign peace agreement with Fulani herdsmen  [The Punch]

The peace pact was signed at a Commodities Farmers Organisation Summit held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Saturday, April 20, 2024.

Segun Dasaolu, the South-West Coordinator of Commodities Farmers Organisation (CFO) and the National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Othman Ngelzarma, signed the peace pact on behalf of the two groups.

In separate speeches, while signing the agreement, Dasaolu and Ngelzarma said the move had become necessary to create a peaceful atmosphere in the region for the two groups to thrive.

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The summit focuses on ensuring that the South-West farmers return to the farm, and also to promote food security in the country. This summit brings together farmers and herders across the six states in this region. This is to allow them to proffer solutions to challenges faced by both groups and the need for the government to carry us along in providing support, policy formulation, and assistance.

“We have signed the peace pact to put a stop to farmers/herders clashes. The first step we are going to take is to identify who are genuine herders in the South-West. We have also agreed together to collect or collate data in that regard,” Dasaolu said.

For his part, the MACBAN National President stressed that progress becomes impossible to achieve in an environment where there is no peaceful coexistence.

“Nothing works when there is no peace. So, we will work with farmers to promote food security in Nigeria. We will also work in collaboration with them to fish out kidnappers in the South-West zone in particular and Nigeria in general,” Ngelzarma noted.

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In recent years, the two groups have been at loggerheads with each other over the havoc wreaked by cattle who destroy farmlands during grazing activities.

In some cases, the ensuing conflicts have led to killings and sacking of communities in the South-West, which further fueled the hostilities towards the herders, who are mainly from the Fulani stock.

However, this latest development suggests the two groups have finally found a common ground to live harmoniously for the benefit of all.

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