Following the recent escalation of hostilities between the Fulani community in Bassa Local Government area of Plateau State with the Irigwe people of Miango District of the same Bassa which have claimed many lives and property, both sides have agreed to halt all manners of hostilities and give peace a chance.
The agreement took yesterday at the headquaters of the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), the multi task force in charge of security operations in Plateau, Bauchi and parts of southern Kaduna, during a reconciliatory meeting organized for both parties by the new OPSH Commander, Major General Augustine Chris Agundu.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Major General Agundu said they have all agreed to seize all forms of violence after the previous separate interactions which each of the parties which culminated into the joint final reconciliatory meeting at the OPSH Headquaters.
He said since the people themselves have agreed to stop the violence and live in peace, all those responsible for instigating violence should desist from doing so, adding that this agreement was a good step to peace building not only in Bassa LGA but in Plateau State as a whole.
He said part of their programmes in ending the violence will be youth oriented and encouraged the leaders of both communities to mobilize their youths towards peace restoration in order to compliment the OPSH youth peace initiative which will involve organizing sporting activities among youths of both communities.
The Commander added that sincere exchange of pleasantries and the warmth hug between the leaders of the Fulanis and the Irigwes indicates that both communities are truly desirous of peaceful coexistence.
In his remarks, the Chairman the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Plateau State Chapter, Muhammad Nuru, said the appreciate the efforts of the new commander so far, and that practical approach to resolving the crises would yield better results than theoretical approach.
The Chairman said they have all agreed to live in peace, adding that they have also promised that henceforth there would be no farmer-herders clash.
Nuru said if there happen to be any form of killing, wether by the Fulanis, Irigwes or security agents, they have vowed to fish out such person(s) because such act will from now on be termed as a criminal act. He also promised to mobilize his people in order to take the message of peace to the grassroots.
Similarly, the representative of the Irigwe nation and the Acting President of Bassa Traditional Council, His Royal Highness Ronku Aka, the Bira Nggwe Rigwe, said the meeting yielded good outcome, and that anyone trying to cause further mayhem would be criminalized.
The Royal father, who is also a Reverend Pastor, said God has created all of them to live together and that anyone trying to separate them was acting contrary to God’s plan.
He said they want to make Plateau State peaceful and great again, stressing that the Fulanis and Irigwes in Bassa LGA can set this special pace for all other communities across the state to emulate, he said.