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A socio-cultural group under the aegies of Kabba Unity Forum has called on the Obadofin of Oweland, Oba Michael Yusuf to thread softly over his proposed indigenisation of the Fulani herdsmen into Kabba native land saying his action is capable of generating unending crises in the area.
The Monarch had on Sunday inaugurated a 13- man committee comprising of some chiefs in the community to implement the indigenization of the herdsmen into Kabba native land.
Oba Yusuf claimed the committee was inaugurated in compliance with the directive given by the state governor, Alh Yahaya Bello and directed the committee to give out indigenization forms to the chairman of Miyetti Allah, Ibrahim Seidu for on ward distribution to his members.
But in a statement signed by the chairman of the group, Chief Ojo Malomo and made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Monday, the group said the governor did not at any time ordered that Fulani herdsmen be indigenized to the various communities in the state.
It said the governor only advised that in order to reduce the incidences of farmers-herdsmen clash in the state, the traditional council including local government state council should involve herdsmen as members and not to co-opt them as indigenes.
The group said it is only the federal government that has the exclusive right on the issue of indigenization of a person or group of persons in the country and warns the traditional ruler not to dabble into any thing that create crisis among his subjects.
“We are greatly disturbed that our revered traditional ruler will go ahead to single handedly inaugurate this kind of committee without consulting stakeholders in the community, and in any case why the haste?
“Certainly Kabba is not the only community in Kogi state, we have other top traditional rulers in the state who could take the lead, even there are communities in Kogi who have been having running battles with herdsmen, yet they did not embark on indigenization, why Kabba?
“The Obadofin must be very careful not to do things that will portray Kabba and indeed his revered throne into bad light, if he personally wants to curry the favour of the state governor, it should certainly not be at the detriment of the community.
“It is on record that Kabba has never had any clash with fulani herdsmen nor any tribal group before, it is a place where indigenes and non indigenes live peacefully and carry out their legitimate businesses freely.
“We call on the Obadofin to stop further action of the indegenization issue and dissolve the committee immediately to avert unnecessary crisis in our beloved native land,” the group stated.
However, the Obadofin has reportedly refuted claims that he want to indigenize Fulanis.
According to a press statement purported issued from the revered palace, the monarch said the forms give to Myetti Allah was to get detailed record of all the fulani settlers in Kabba.
“The palace of the Obadofin of Owe land has in the last few hours received calls of a widely speculated report in the media of a purported plan to give the fulani settlers in Kabba a right of indigeneship. For us, the news is shocking at its best.
“It’s imperative to note that the 13 man committee that was set up in December 2017 by the Obadofin of Owe land, HRH Oba Michael Yusuf was given the sole mandate to provide a detailed record of all the fulani settlers in Kabba taking into account their population density, their area of distribution, the population of their cattle and their leader’s phone numbers.
“This decision came as a backdrop of recent clashes between the natives of Kabba and some supposed fulani herdsmen. The leadership of the fulanis, Myetti Allah had on regular basis distanced its members from those criminal incidences. This repeated denial was exactly what prompted the council of traditional rulers in Kabba to reach a decision to take a detailed census of these immigrants in a bid to check mate their activities.
“We want to use this ample opportunity to appeal to the public to disregard the twisted story in the media as we will continue to take necessary actions to ensure that our people cohabit in peace,” the statement read.
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