…Seeks Partnership On Security, Developments

By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin

Following surging movements of Fulani herdsmen from the South Western states into Kwara State, the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq l, had met with leaders of Fulani herdsmen to fashion good inter-relationships with their hosts.

The growing unfriendly atmosphere, coupled with the separatist agitations in the Southern parts of the country in recent time is said to growingly witness a worrisome surge of the influx of the herders to the North, Kwara State in particular.

The Fulani herders had allegedly threefore in the circumstance been arriving to settle down in large numbers in the communities where they were least welcomed, in the Southern senatorial district.

At the meeting with the Fulani leaders and representatives who were drawn from the sixteen local governrment areas of the state, Governor AbdulRazaq had told them of the need to meet with them and other stakeholders in the state to prevent crimes and guarantee security for all.

He was particular about the movement into the state of Fulanis herdsmen, disclosing that the meeting was “to forge a consensus on how to manage herders-farmers’ relationship amid ultimatums on cattle grazing in some Southern states and mass movement of herders to the North, especially Kwara.

AbdulRazaq said, “The meeting is for security and peaceful coexistence, especially in the light of what is happening around us. So, there was the need to also engage the Fulani in Kwara on how to manage such movement.”

He, however, promised that “Fulani in Kwara, like other communities in the state, will receive government’s protection and patronage in terms of infrastructure projects and social security programmes.”

He pointed out that there are security implications from such movements from one section of the country to the other, pointing out that what the government is doing, including the ‘National Livestock Transformation Programme’ and the Special Agriculture Processing Zone was basically to engage the Fulani community for better understanding.

These understandings, he said, included programmes like normadic education, healthcare delivery, water projects and empowerment that were lined up for them.

He explained that the second phase of the National Livestock Transformation Programme would soon take off and Kwara State was expectantly a part of the beneficiary states.

The governor added, “So far, the first phase (o the National Livestock Transformation Programme) has taken off and was done last in Nasarawa State. We are still waiting for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to let us know when the second phase will commence. Kwara State is expected to do the second phase of the project. We have done the enumeration to be part of the project.”

He told the meeting that the last engagement the state government had with Oyo State government on security had been yielding positive results and that he was hoping to do same with other boundary states like Ekiti State.

Speaking at the occassion, Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Tuesday Assayomo, said that the essence of the town hall meeting was to seek the cooperation of the Fulani community in Kwara State, because according to him, both the government and security agencies were combinely intensifying efforts to beef up security in the state.

The Police boss said, “We are here to talk about how to continue to live in peace. We have a duty to protect lives and properties.”

He commended the governor for initiating the meeting, as well as the governor’s support for the security agencies in the state.

He added, “Those of you in the capital city must have been seeing the policemen patrolling in the night. If they stop you, I want you to please stop. If they search your vehicle, and there is nothing incriminating they will allow you to go. If you suspect anyone in your area, kindly report it to the police. We need your support.”


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