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 criminals.
“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.