Story from Beatrice GONDYI, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, said his administration is not out to witch hunt anyone as he received the report of the committee on land disputes between farmers and herders.
He said the government would, therefore, look into all the committee’s recommendations and its decisions are going to be palatable to anybody.
“We are not going to witch-hunt anybody, we are going to do it with justice and equity and fear of Allah,” he said.
The Governor who was speaking on Tuesday while receiving the report of a committee of inquiry into the land dispute between farmers and herders in Misau Local Government Area observed that similar dispute can happen in any part of the state in Nigeria.
He explained that the setting up of a committee on land dispute between farmers and herders in Misau Local Government Area of the state is not meant to witch-hunt any person but rather an exercise of responsibility.
“I want to say, we have no malice against anybody, what we are doing is an exercise of our responsibility, the common man must be protected, there must be a government and there must be that feeling of protection for each and every citizen”, he said.
It could be recalled that early last July dispute broke out between farmers and herders over grazing land in Malinje village in Zadawa hamlet of Hardawa district in Misau Local Government Area in which some persons were reportedly killed and several others hospitalized.
He noted with dismay the vast arable land the state had, have been overtaken by individual citizens for self-aggrandizement, saying the government would no longer tolerate such tendencies, stressing that “this is unacceptable”.
He explained that the state is blessed with vast arable and forest reserves, but unfortunately, some self-centred individuals have cashed into these treasured God gifts for grasps, thereby putting farmers and herders in jeopardy and subsequent clashes.
The Governor also attributed the incessant clashes between farmers and herders to banditry and criminality which, he noted, pushes these disputing or warring groups or factions into free-for-all fight leading to loss of lives and properties.
He added that he is going to look at the report with an assurance of presenting it to anybody who cares to dwell into it as, according to him, “We don’t have any score to settle with anybody”.
Governor Bala further said that all his administration was doing is to correct the ills and bad happenings for the benefit of the generality of the people in the state.