By Amir Muhammad Harbo
It is undeniable and physically known that Jigawa state is blessed with high fertile land suitable for farming and grazing. However, the clashes between Fulani herders, natives, traditional rulers and some government officials have almost encircled the state’s cities and villages in a wave of violence that resulted in many people losing their lives and their houses being razed.
Jigawa state purely depends on agriculture -so, I never see any impact on its disintegration. But, the emerging unrest has started shooting the single ball of its cherished unity and harmony. So, can you answer one question – how can the state build forward better from the current existential crisis plaguing it, especially that of pastoralists?
These clashes and disputes are all over the land ownerships between these warring groups. It is for settlements and rearing fields to the herders as they’re there countless years back, while to the remaining groups, it is about farming for their economic gains.
The proprietorship of the lush land wants to take it from one of the parties. This has led to too many conflicts between the groups over the years in the state. It’s now more worrisome because there is an increase in skirmishes among the groups. Hostile exchanges have already started, and some people got stabbed. Many also were feared injured recently in some local government areas in the northeastern zone of the state.
Now, nonnatives residents have started coming from Zamfara, Yobe and other restive cities across the North, said a victim when I visited him. When I contacted Lutto, the chairman of Udawa (one of the sects of Fulani), he said they have been sitting with some stakeholders, but nothing has been implemented yet. A lot of sorrowful mysterious tales to tell. Yet, the government and community organisations for long don’t come with an active and formidable strategy to mitigate the conflicts.
These villagers are low-income earners; they know nothing but going to farm and cattle rearing. Taking advantage of their illiteracy in persecuting and duping them must be stopped now. They are seeing everyone as a contributor to the blockage of their future. Everyone must act before these parties start fleeing to take refuge in other places.
I hope this misfortune between heartless traditional rulers and politicians, Fulani herders and indigenous farmers bedevilling this state will finally come to an end and be over forever. But, to curtail this problem of insecurity, Jigawa has a long way to go and has a lot to do.
Amir Muhammad Harbo writes from Jigawa state. He can be reached via email@example.com.