Pan-Northern socio-cultural group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, said it had constituted a committee on how best to handle the anti-open grazing law which has been a bone of contention in some parts of the North.
The implementation of the law is currently causing crises in Benue, Taraba and Adamawa states, leading to the killing of hundreds of citizens and the destruction of property.
The Secretary-General of the ACF, Anthony Sani, told one of our correspondents in Kaduna via the telephone on Friday that the constitution of the committee became necessary because the forum believed the clashes bordered on occupation rather than on ethnicity or religion.
Sani, who did not name members of the committee, blamed governors for enacting laws that were not “implementable” just as he knocked the Fulani herdsmen for not “forgiving those who offended them.”
He said, “The ACF has actually constituted a committee on how best to go about the anti-open grazing law with a view to stopping clashes between herdsmen and farmers and improving the volume and quality of the livestock industry in the country.
“This is because the forum believes the clashes border on occupation rather than on ethnicity or religion. The committee has yet to submit its reports to the forum. It is after the submission of the report that well-informed positions on this important subject can be taken. Any law which cannot be implemented for whatever reasons in the interest of all the people should be reconsidered for performance.
“How frustrated we are with the challenges of community living should not make us believe that acts of revenge can address our concerns and bring about the peace needed for socio-economic development.
“There can be no justification for taking it out on innocent people under the pretext of revenge through reprisals. If God can forgive our transgressions, we should also forgive those who transgress against us.
“So, let the herdsmen and farmers come together and unleash their synergy against the collective challenges for a common interest. The two occupations are not mutually exclusive.”