Story from Beatrice GONDYI, Bauchi
Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state on Tuesday reiterated the commitment of his administration to reacquire all lands illegally allocated to highly placed technocrat individuals across the state.
The Governor disclosed this while receiving the report of the Administrative Committee on Inquiry into land disputes between herders and farmers caused by land-use abuse and illegal allocation in all the 20 local government area of the state.
He expressed confidence that the recommendations of the committee will bring to an end the farmers and herders clashes across the state.
Bala also disclosed that the state government will come up with a white paper on the basis of the recommendations and to set up an implementation committee to ensure due process and justice to all those involved.
According to him, the implementation committee would be assisted with consultants in urban and regional planning and other professionals so as to resolve the issue amicably.
“Let me start by commending members of the committee for bringing issues that will assist towards bringing to an end the lingering problems between the most critical stakeholders in the society, farmers and herders.”
“The petitions and memoranda made me happy that Bauchi state is alive and everybody is conscious and human right is coming to the fore and we will make sure that justice and equity are done to everybody.”
“It is unfortunate at this century when our fathers have done so much to establish cattle routes and reserves for environmental sustainability, but our lands are being allocated illegally and this must be reversed,” Governor Bala said.
Governor Bala Mohammed, therefore, stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to overcome and tackle the menace of illegal allocation of lands thereby ensuring peaceful coexistence among members of the society.
“You have identified some critical areas and you have given recommendations for resolving them. I thank you most sincerely for your patriotism and professionalism in the discharge of your duties,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Surveyor Yahaya Baba said the committee in the course of its assignment, received more than 1000 petitions and memoranda from critical stakeholders.
He said farmers/herders conflict is a great threat to security that needs to be checked and therefore the proactive approach of the Governor to set up the committee to check the threat need not be overemphasized.
“Your Excellency, I made bold to say, you are indeed the first Governor be it military or democratically elected in the history of Bauchi state since its creation in 1976 to come up with an initiative of this nature. Sir, you are indeed a real peacemaker who took the bull by its horn in addressing state issues.”
He said the committee interacted with all the stakeholders in the 20 local government areas of the state followed by a technical inspection of all the identified problem areas for in-depth analysis.
Surveyor Yahaya Baba appealed to Governor Bala Mohammed to make useful use of the committee’s recommendations in order to achieve sustainable peace between farmers and herders in the state.