The Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria has called for the establishment of ranches for herders with a view of finding lasting solution to the perennial farmers-herders clashes.
The Council’s National Vice President, Sheikh AbdurRasheed Hadiyatullah made the call in Osogbo, Osun State on Thursday, at a press conference to address the quit notice given to the Fulani herders in Southwest, Nigeria by some individuals.
He said ranches and grazing reserves will not only provide alternative to open grazing, it will also improve the internally generated revenue of the host communities, restrict the herders to a known area, make it easy to monitor mauraders and help in dealing with the criminal elements among them.
To immediately douse tension, Sheikh Hadiyatullah similarly advocated the convocation of town hall meetings by government across levels between herdsmen and their host communities with a view to sorting out their differences.
Hadiyatullah who is also the Coordinator, Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria wondered how the challenge has led to the crisis between the people who have lived peacefully as brothers for years.
“For instance, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Igboho recently gave quit notice to the Hausa-Fulani in Igangan, Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State and led indigenes of the area to attack the Hausa-Fulani community on Friday, 22nd January, 2021. The incident allegedly resulted in the destruction of houses and vehicles. And this has also led to rising of tensions in the country with an expected backlash effect, with fear that the stabbing at Igangan may lead to bleeding in Kano or Kaduna. There are also some pockets of similar incidents across the Nation.
“Contrary to the tribal and religious interpretation or label being given to it by some individuals, findings have shown that the phenomenon that led to the acrimony and perennial wranglings between the two tribes is pure criminality.”
Sheikh Hadiyatullah however condemned in its entirety, the perennial destruction of farm produce by the cattle and the reported kidnappings in Igangan towns and other areas.
“The truth is bitter, but the earlier we say it, the better. Herdsmen have no right to destroy crops. This is where people have genuine grievances against herdsmen.
“The Igangan incident must be condemned by all lovers of peace. But at the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the pain and suffering of farmers and indigenes of the area whom criminals see as soft targets for kidnapping, armed robbery, etc. It is however crystal clear that it is not a religious matter, though some have been misled into labeling it as an Hausa-Fulani affair. Our focus must be the criminals, not any tribe as rightly stated by his excellency Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State”.
“While we do not endorse violence, we opine that people whose farms have been destroyed have the right to express indignation. In the same manner, those whose relations or friends have fallen victims to criminal activities like kidnapping and armed robbery are justified to speak up. The only difference here is that no single tribe should be held responsible for all the crimes.”
While noting that criminals are abound in all faiths and tribes across the globe, the Vice President for the Shari’ah Council called on all Nigerians to address the crime and criminals by targetting the kidnappers and armed robbers, and not any particular ethnicity.
He warned that those who make the mistake of profiling people of certain tribes will end up hurting decent elements within that tribe, an act that is against the law of natural justice.
Sheikh Hadiyatullah warned that the people of South West must consider the fate of their kinsmen who have resided in the North for decades before insisting on a general expulsion of Northerners, saying most northern states face the herdsmen versus farmer’s conflict, banditry and kidnapping and only genuine coorperation by all can bring an end to these crimes.
▪︎ By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.
Rawshield PR Company
Guaranty Trust Bank