There is palpable fear in Gwalli district of Gummi area in Zamfara
State following a fresh altercation between Fulani and Hausa
communities, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.

A source familiar with the crisis told the newspaper that some
herders, believed to have migrated from either Shinkafi or Birnin
Magaji local government areas of the state during the administration
of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari, decided to settle at an area west
of Gwalli community in Gummi Local Government Area.

“During the days of the crisis between herders and farmers in the
state, especially at its peak, the state government asked the herders
to vacate the area.

“The Abdulaziz Yari-led government wrote a letter to the Gummi Emirate
Council, Gummi Local Government and local security chiefs, ordering
the herders to leave the area, on the suspicion that they could be

“When the herders settled at the area, they began to purchase lands
and some other property, largely through the local chiefs. They
settled and started working on the lands they purchased, and suddenly,
there was an order by the authorities for them to leave the area.

“Following the order, some unscrupulous elements decided to take
advantage of the situation and began to confiscate the properties
acquired by the herders. They drove the herders away and took over
their lands.

“But unknown to the authorities, the herders, who reportedly migrated
to the neighbouring Kebbi State, were planning to avenge the treatment
meted out to them. So they came back to the communities on a vengeance
mission, which coincided with the time the Governor Bello Matawalle
administration had struck a peace deal between herders and farmers in
the state. As you know, the authorities would not relax and watch
anyone cause trouble after the peace deal; that is why they quickly
intervened to de-escalate the tension,’’ the source said.

The paper quoted a resident of the area, Hassan Idris, saying, “When
the herders arrived at the communities, people fled their homes out of
apprehension. You know that in a situation like this, the herders
wouldn’t bother to distinguish between those who offended them and
those who did not. There could be high casualties; that is why the
people saw them and fled.

“But the fleeing residents have now returned to their homes and
normalcy has been restored. The timely intervention of the police
really saved the situation. All the aggrieved parties have put
everything behind them for the sake of peace.’’

Also, the spokesman for the state police command, SP Muhammad Shehu,
said the commissioner of police, Usman Nagogo, led other officers to
the palace of the Emir of Gummi, Alhaji Hassan Lawal, to consolidate
on their earlier peace-building processes.

“The two warring groups of Fulani and Hausa communities from Gwalli
and Makaranta villages in the local government were assembled at the
palace of Emir of Gummi. The reason for the assembly was to address
the existing rivalry/dispute through peaceful dialogue and
reconciliation so as to avoid unwarranted loss of lives and
property,’’ Shehu said.

He said Nagogo, who presided over the meeting, called on the two
warring parties to voice out their grievances in order to address them
once and for all. He enjoined them to respect the resolutions reached
during the meeting by accepting the peace deal, as well as avoid
anything that could lead to a breakdown of law and order in Gummi and

Nagogo assured them that the ongoing peace initiative was being
carried out with all sense of sincerity and justice to all the
parties. He thanked the emir for his continued support and cooperation
to the peace initiative.

Speaking at the meeting, the Emir of Gummi, Alhaji Lawal Hassan Gummi,
commended the commissioner of police for his untiring effort in the
restoration of lasting peace in Zamfara State. He promised his
emirate’s continued collaboration and assistance to the ongoing state
government’s commitment to ensuring peace and tranquility.

During the meeting, all the disputing parties were given equal
opportunities to voice out their grievances. To this end, important
issues were extensively deliberated on and all the warring factions
unanimously agreed to forgive and forget so that there would be
lasting peace, not only in  Gummi Emirate but in the entire state.


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