Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Plateau Traditional Ruler Decries Rising Spate of Farmlands Destruction In Jos Community

By Martha Agas

The paramount ruler of Irigwe Chiefdom in Miango District of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, North Central Nigeria, Rev. Ronku Aka has decried the destruction of farmlands in his domain by suspected pastoralists.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday at his Palace in Miango, near Jos, the Brra Ngwe Rigwe (the traditional title of Irigwe Chiefdom), alleged that the heinous act was being perpetrated mostly by cattle breeders, who were not residents of the district.

He noted that those who were destroying the community’s farmlands were herders that were not privy to the signing of the peace pact between the Fulani and Irigwe ethnic groups on July 13, 2022.

The traditional ruler said though he had been pleading with his people at different fora, and through the community leaders to endure the situation, urgent measures needed to be taken to prevent an escalation of the situation.

“We have told the implementation committee in our meetings (with traditional council), to do the needful and to make sure what we signed is implemented,” Aka said.

He, however, said that Irigwe land had experienced relative peace since the signing of the peace pact, which states that herders should ensure their cattle do not trespass on farmlands while grazing to prevent destruction of crops.

He said that the pact also encouraged reintegration of the Fulani ethnic groups into Irigwe land, which would help in detecting foreigners,  who were invading the area with the sole intention of causing destruction and distrust amongst peaceful residents.

He however, explained that those who wished to return were required to register with the traditional council, including stating the number of their cattle, for proper identification, and also to provide them with necessary support.

The Irigwe ruler, who is also the Chairman of Bassa Traditional Council of Chiefs, noted that the engagement of minors as cattle breeders was one of the leading causes of crop destruction in the area which should be addressed.

According to him, under aged cattle breeders should have adult supervision.

“One of the Fulani herders came to Miango and spent three days here, he enjoyed his peaceful stay and urged his people to exercise patience and stop little children from rearing cattle because leaving them unsupervised is likely to always cause trouble,” he said.

Aka said that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which proposed ranching as a modern way of grazing livestock, should be urgently adopted in Plateau as a pilot scheme.

He noted that the implementation of the NLTP would stem the tide of insecurity, saying already a location in Wase LGA had been marked out for the pilot scheme of the plan in Plateau.

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