Feuding Benue farmers and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, an umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen have signed a peace accord to end all hostilities currently going on in parts of Benue State.
This was even as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, has said that substances suspected to be chemical weapons were used in the killing of over 200 farmers in Benue State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Orhii spoke, yesterday, in an interview with newsmen in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, shortly after donating relief materials to victims of the crisis at various camps in Makurdi and Guma local government areas of the state.
However, the truce was brokered at the end of a peace meeting between the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, (Operations), Mike Zuokumor and his team, the Chairman, Benue State Reconciliatory and Peace Building Committee, led by General Atom Kpera and members of his committee as well as the National President Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Alhaji Bello Modejo and his team at the Banquet Hall of the Government House.
Reading the resolution of the meeting to newsmen, General Kpera, who was flanked by Alhaji Modejo, said both the Tiv/Agatu and Fulani have agreed to immediately cease hostilities, and also set up a task force to implement the peace agreement.
They vowed to fish out all criminal elements that were fuelling the dispute in order to effectively tackle the crisis.
”We also agreed that the Fulani have not been chased out of Benue; they should feel free to remain and co-exist peacefully with Tiv/Agatu rural farmers.
”We have agreed to meet from time to time to build confidence and keep track of the implementation of the peace agreement.”
The meeting also cautioned the feuding parties against taking laws into their hands, advising that all illegal road blocks set up my the parties for the purpose of searching vehicles to harass individuals be dismantled forthwith