Scene of a communal clash in Benue state(Source Channelstv.com)
By Danlami Nmodu
The Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) and the Alliance for Credible Election (ACE) have warned tribal and religious zealots to avoid making the Federal Capital Territory ,FCT Abuja yet another theatre of war.This warning was contained in a statement today signed by Mr Danladi Jeji, President, OIDA and Mr. Emma Ezeazu, Secretary General, ACE.
While appealing “to both communities to remain calm and peaceful while government finds lasting solution” the groups added “We also use this medium to warn religious and tribal zealots to stay away from making FCT another centre of ethno-religious crisis.”
A communal clash occurred on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at Gwako, Gwagwalada Area Council between Fulani cattle rearers and Gbagyi farmers. At least two (2) persons have been confirmed dead, 4 injured and 27 communities torched in the clash.The groups commended the FG for its timely intervention .
The National Emergency Management Agency,NEMA in a statement said 1500 persons were displaced by the clash.
Read the full text of the groups’ press release below:
OIDA/ACE RESPONSE TO FULANI/GBAGYI CRISIS AT GWAKO, GWAGWALADA, FCT
The Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) and the Alliance for Credible Election (ACE) wishes to commend the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and security agencies in the FCT for their swift response to the communal clash that occurred on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at Gwako, Gwagwalada Area Council between Fulani cattle rearers and Gbagyi farmers.
Two (2) persons have been confirmed dead, 4 injured and 27 communities torched in the clash.The inauguration of an eleven-man investigation panel headed by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Adenrele Shinaba to look into the remote causes of the clash between both parties is a welcome development.
It is our hope that the committee will do a thorough job in its assignment by genuinely recommending what should be done to solve the perennial problem of Fulani cattle rearers and farmers clashes in FCT.
While we await the one-week deadline given to the Investigation Committee, we urge the Committee to be transparent and fair to all parties involved in the crisis by holding sessions openly and receiving input from all interested parties.
Also, the statement by the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed that the government will set up a new grazing reserve for Fulani cattle rearers in the FCT is a good development if handled well. We urge the government to ensure that the location of the grazing reserveare well located in FCT.
We also warn that political office holders and government officials should not use this opportunity to carve out lands for themselves in the name of having grazing reserve. This will be vehemently resisted by OIDA and ACE.
Also, the issue of compensation, resettlement and integrationof original inhabitants in FCT should not be crisis-driven. It should be done in a comprehensive manner. The government should not wait until another crisis breaks out in the Territory before this fundamental question is resolved.
While we eagerly awaitthe recommendations of the Investigation committee, we hereby appeal to both communities to remain calm and peaceful while government finds lasting solution. We also use this medium to warn religious and tribal zealots to stay away from making FCT another centre of ethno-religious crisis.
Pst. Danladi Jeji, Mr. Emma Ezeazu
President, OIDA Secretary General, ACE