The Chief of Mutumbiyu, Justice Sani Suleiman (rtd), has warned that henceforth herdsmen who destroy crops will pay the exact monetary value of the crops destroyed.
The decision was taken during a meeting between representatives of Fulani herdsmen and those of farmers which was held at his palace.
Justice Sani Suleiman said the meeting was as a result of complaints by farmers against Fulani herdsmen over cases of destruction of their crops.
He said the committees have been set up to monitor activities of herdsmen in the six districts to prevent conflict between farmers and herdsmen.
The monarch warned that herdsmen should not lead their herds into farmlands to destroy crops deliberately, and anyone found violating the order will be made to pay the actual value of crops destroyed.
He also advised farmers not to farm on cattle routes and by road sides which disrupts cattle movement.
He charged members of the committee which comprised farmers, herdsmen and traditional rulers to be honest and sincere in the conduct of their assignment which centered on bringing lasting peace in the chiefdom.
During the meeting, Yakubu Makurna, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, cited many instances where herdsmen attacked farmers who attempted to chase away cows from their farms.
He said it was very sad and alarming the rates of people that were wounded and even killed by herdsmen over the years in the chiefdom.
He stated that farmers were attacked time without number by herdsmen when they attempted to chase away cows from their farms.
Makurna further explained that herdsmen destroyed farms because they were not compelled to pay compensation equivalent to the value of crops they destroyed on several instances.
He lamented that some of the herdsmen used to lead their herds to the farms in the night to destroy crops.
“The herdsmen destroy our crops in the daylight while others lead their herds during the night,
“We lost millions of Naira over the years and yet farmers get little compensation for the crops destroyed by the herdsmen,” he said.
He said the only solution to the problem is to compel herdsmen to pay the exact amount of money of the value of the crop destroyed.
“Farmers suffered too much in the hands of herdsmen because of the destruction to their farm crops and injuries and killings through attacks on innocent farmers who attempted to prevent herdsmen from destroying their farms,” he said.
Similarly, the representative of the herdsmen, Hardo Musa, claimed that herdsmen were at the receiving end because in most cases farmers put claims above the actual value of crops destroyed .
He said leaders of the herdsmen were not in support of destruction of crops which is the main cause of farmers/ herdsmen conflicts.
Musa stated that he was in support of peaceful resolution to the misunderstanding between farmers and herdsmen.
“We want farmers to always be sincere in demanding compensation by presenting the actual value of their crops destroyed,” he said.
He revealed that the committees set up in the chiefdom as initiated by the Chief of Mutumbiyu will address the conflict between the two groups and that all Fulani herdsmen support the initiative.
He said on their part, the Fulani have put measures in place to address cases of destruction of farm crops by herdsmen in the chiefdom.