Bauchi govt releases white paper on farmers/herders clash, accuses Emir of Misau of dereliction of duty

The Bauchi state government has released a white paper on the communal clashes that erupted between farmers and herders in Misau Local Government Area (LGA) few months ago which led to the loss of lives and properties.

In the white paper report of the administrative committee of inquiry which Governor Bala Mohammed set up to look into the land dispute between farmers and herders in Zadawa ward of Misau LGA, the Bauchi state government indicted the Emir of Misau Alh. Ahmed Suleiman with dereliction of duty.

According to the white paper shared with Vanguard at the weekend by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Muktar Gidado, the committee recommended sanctions for the Zadawa village head while also requesting a handwritten apology to the government of Bauchi state.

“It will be recalled that on the 25th September 2020 government received the Report of the Administrative Committee of Inquiry which looked into the land dispute between Farmers and Herders in Zadawa Ward of Hardawa District, Misau Local Government Area.

Government has accepted the report of the Committee and the whitepaper states as follows:

“The committee’s investigation revealed that Malumje grazing reserve is a community grazing reserve and the allocation of parts of the forest reserve to farmers or self-acquisitions of the forest as farmlands, are in contravention of the forestry law and laws of Bauchi State 2007. Government has accepted the committee’s recommendation for the total revocation of all the allocations including Farmlands that are self-acquired and Government has consequently directed the re-establishment of cattle routes in the reserve.

“The committee observed that there are illegal allocations of farmlands to individuals on the gazetted Forest reserves of Maladumba, Danfisa/Bokki, Gambara/Tofu and Umala/Jarkasa forests, in clear violation of the laws establishing forest reserves. In line with the recommendation of the committee these allocations are here-by revoked by the Government.

“Government notes with regret, the violation of the terms of allocation of farmlands in the reserve and the sharp practices in the exercise which deprives Herders of their rights of grazing. Government hereby revokes all previous allocations in order for peace to reign in the area. Government has consequently directed the Ministries of Land and Survey, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development to constitute a committee to review the entire allocation of Kalala community grazing reserve so as to address farmers/herders conflicts during the dry and rainy seasons,” the statement reads in part.

The government, in addition to warning the Emir of Misau, also indicted and sanctioned a few other people suspected to have played a part in the crisis that rocked the area some months ago.

The statement further reads, “Various administrative sanctions have been taken against some Traditional institutions found to be culpable or complicit in the crisis. Government has accepted the recommendation of the committee to warn the Emir of Misau, Alh. Ahmed Suleiman, mni, for dereliction of duty which fuelled and escalated the fatal crisis in his domain. The Emir is to equally apologize to the Government in writing.

“Government has also accepted the recommendation of the committee on the District Head of Chiroma Alhaji Ahmadun Amadu. The District Head remains suspended pending another investigation. Should he be found wanting he will be removed and prosecuted.

“The Misau Emirate Council is to ensure that Ibrahim Yusuf Atiku is immediately relieved of his appointment from the post of Wakili of Zadawa Village Head. Government also accepts the recommendation of the committee for the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice to liaise with the Commissioner of Police Bauchi State to arrest and prosecute Ibrahim Yusuf Atiku for fraudulent allocation of the forest and extortion of money from the allottees. The Emirate Council is to equally ensure that Ibrahim Yusuf Atiku is barred from aspiring to the office of Sarkin Zadawa in the event the position becomes vacant.

“The Director Admin and General Services Mal. Sule Abba, The Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mal. Baba Waziri, and Director of Works Aminu Abdullahi Disina all of Misau Local Government Council are retired from the Civil Service.

“Government has equally accepted the recommendation of the committee for further investigation of the 16 identified persons who were alleged to have vigorously participated in masterminding and fuelling the crisis. The Secretary to the State Government is directed to ensure that the Police and Local Government Service Commission are involved in the investigation.”

On palliative measures, the government said, “The committee recommends some various degrees of financial Assistance to 10 people who lost their lives in the clash as well as 8 persons who sustained injuries and whose properties were lost as a result of the crisis. The Government has accepted the recommendation of monetary assistance in that regard and has directed the Secretary to the State Government to ensure the payment of such relief or assistance to all the affected persons.”

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