President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed seven governors considered wise enough with a mandate to end banditry challenges in Nigeria’s Northerwest.
Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of APC governors’ forum disclosed this on Sunday, in Birnin Kebbi, at the Fulani stakeholders’ peace, security and unity meeting in Birnin Kebbi.
Bagudu who only identified himself among the seven governors didn’t reveal the identity of others, but said Buhari has directed for the urgent restoration of normalcy, so as to achieve peace and security in the region.
In a statement on Sunday by the Special Adviser (Media), to Kebbi State Governor, Yahaya Sariki, which was obtained by CAPITAL POST, Bagudu stated that, the President was fully committed to adequately protecting the lives and properties of all law abiding and peaceful citizens of the country.
Bagudu further acknowledged the relentless efforts of the military and the various security agencies in the country.
He appealed to Nigerians to be less apprehensive in confronting the enemies of peace and unity, saying,” they are a negligible few and we should all brace the odds
“The issue of ensuring security in the nation is a collective responsibility, as such , all hands must be on deck in this direction.
Bagudu also reiterated his earlier pledge to lead the rescue efforts of the abducted students and staff of the FGC Birnin Yauri.
He said:” We were not elected only to stay in the office, but to do anything to safeguard lives and properties of all law abiding citizens .
“We have to do everything to guarantee peace, unity and security, even to the extent of sacrificing our lives as ordained by Religious Scriptures.”
According to Bagudu, the fulani stakeholders meeting was aimed at reviewing the progress made , as well as tackle the challenges , with a view to proffering plausible solutions.
He said his government had set up a steering committee to look into grazing reserves, cattle routes as well as resolve lingering contentious issues between farmers and Fulani herdsmen so as to lasting achieve peace and security in the state.
“Government is fully aware of issues raised, just as it has already started implementing some of the recommendations raised by the committee.
“No matter the efforts put in by the Government, there has to be the understanding and acceptance of those concerned to have positive effect on their lives,” he said.
He further vowed that, his administration would leave no stone unturned in protecting lives and properties of the citizens .
Bagudu also vowed to sustain ongoing efforts by his administration to improve the lives of the fulanis through livesstock and dairy production, Fulani women empowerment, as well as enhance other forms of farming activities .
“Already, this administration has secured a 1.7 billion naira loan towards improving livestock production and other forms of animal husbandry,” he averred.
He promised that his administration would consider the recommendations reached at the meeting, including addressing the issue of cattle routes and giving more premium to security matters in the state.
He disclosed that, the next stage of the all-important meeting will be convened after Sallah, so as to sustain the extant gains of the previous meeting.
In the end, he decried how the activities of some few nefarious bad elements within the Fulani clan, who have resorted to banditry, is having a negative effect on the generality of peace loving fulanis in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the former Governor of the State, Alhaji Saidu Usman Nasamu Dakingari , who is also the Chairman of the Fulani Elites Steering Committee suggested that, plausible solutions to the issues unravelled should be proffered during the forthcoming third tranche of the meeting.
Dakingari lauded Bagudu for his invalubale efforts to restore the lost glory of the state , as well as making Kebbi a true Pacesetter and trailblazer in Nigeria.
The former Governor further advised that, the discussions held should go beyond just enumerating myriad of problems and challenges faced by the fulanis, but proferring practical solutions.
He said his committee would follow up all the matters raised as recommendations in dealing with issues, but stressed the need for justice, equity and equality to all fulanis as a panacea to Peace and security.
”All lands belonging to fulanis should be returned, cattle routes and grazing reserves revived .
“I advise the government as a matter of importance to issue certificates of land ownership to fulanis as was the case before ,” he advised.
Earlier, the Secretary General of the Committee set up by Government on Fulani matters, Alhaji Abubakar Bandam, said the meeting was part of the ongoing efforts by Miyetti Allah to support the efforts of Governor Bagudu on addressing security challeges in the state, especially banditry.
“The meeting is geared towards joining hands with fulani elites from all spheres of life and other stakeholders, to rescue Kebbi and to support ongoing peace efforts by Governor Bagudu to bring an end banditry ‘.
“That is why he chose the former Governor, Saidu Nasamu Dakingari, to spearhead the steering committee, to champion among others, provision of basic social amenities to better the lives of the fulanis, ” he said.
Islamic scholars such as Malam Muhammadu Dankarami Gwadangaji, Malam Usman Damana, all preached and admonished both the leaders and the led to uphold the tenets of truth and justice.
They quoted various verses of the Holy Quran and Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ( SAW) , to buttressed what they said.
On his part, the Chairman of the Committee on Fulani Sensitization set up by Kebbi State Government, Dr. Abdullahi Imam Shema, expressed profound happiness over the meeting.
He said the meeting was an extension and continuation of the mandate of his committee to reach out to all fulanis even at their hamlets, to enlighten and educate them with particular attention to peace, unity,social wellbeing and education.
He commended governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his initiative and unrelenting efforts to better the lives of fulanis in Kebbi , such as the construction of earth dams, grazing reserves and nomadic schools in fulani settlements.
He said the governor was a trailblazer whose invaluable peace efforts cut across all regions in Nigeria.
In order to achieve lasting peace and security in the state ,some speakers at the gathering proferred solutions on the way forward;
Professor Muhammad Tukur Baba, of Federal University, Birnin Kebbi requested the government to ensure the safety and security of the innocent fulanis, provide constant water to them, as well as animal feeds.
He also appealed to the government to encourage fulanis to plant economic trees in their settlements.
Speaking in the same vein, Professor Bande Zagga, advised government to formulate short term and long term strategic plans to better the lives of the fulanis.
Sensitization of the fulanis, especially on the dangers inherent in illiteracy and drug addiction should be maintained as started by Kebbi State Government, while on the long term, nomadic education to all categories of fulanis must be entrenched and supported by the government.
Professor Muktar Bunza, who is the Commissioner Higher Education in the state , dwelt on some general challenges, neglect and discrimination being faced by the fulanis not only in Nigeria, but also Mali, Niger, Senegal and elsewhere.
He lamented that, the present crises of banditry was long hatched to cause disunity between the fulanis and the Hausas.
“What we are witnessing today is planned long ago, it is a deliberate and grand design to cause disharmony between the peace loving Fulanis and the Hausas ,”he said.
On his part, Dr. Abubakar Ribah, said the meeting is apt considering the present security situation in Nigeria.
He appealed to fulani elites to show more concern to their brothers who are living in rural areas and government to address the various injustices meted against the fulanis.
The Special Adviser on Fulani Matters, Hajiya Amina Aminu, reeled out myriad of initiatives and programs carried out by the Governor Bagudu- led administration to improve the living condition of fulanis in the state .
“These range from the construction of schools, provision of drinking water and empowerment initiatives to Fulani women in collaboration with of Ministry Animal Health and Fisheries.
“Fulani women were also trained on how to process and produce modern yoghourt . In fact , the government is now constructing Milk collection center at Bulasa,”she averred.
Hajiya Halima Boyi Dikko, Permanent Secretary Higher Education, while commending the governor for his effort, advocated for sound western and religious knowledge to the fulanis .
She said such a move could liberate the fulanis from the bondage of illiteracy and set their minds free from any form of crime.
Dikko also appealed to Islamic Scholars to spread amongst the fulanis, religious knowledge at their hamlets.
The Sarkin Gobir of Kalgo, Haruna Jadda, who represented the Emir of Gwandu , assured governor Bagudu of their support as traditional rulers towards achieving peace in their domains
In the same vein, the former Head of Service, Alhaji Udu Idris, Dallatun Gwandu and the Special Adviser to the governor on Power, Alhaji Yusuf Haruna, all commeded the governor for his peace efforts in the state.
They extolled the good leadership style of the Governor as responsible for Kebbi’s sustainable peace and tangible socioe-conomic development.
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