KOGI State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday threatened to dethrone any traditional ruler that fulani herdsmen and farmers clash in his domain.
Apart from this, he also said he would also sack any local government administrators that such a crisis erupt in his territory.
Bello, who was addressing a stakeholders meeting on security in the state, said his administration would not promulgate any law that would prohibit open grazing in any part of the state.
The governor said he was not ready to prevent the fulani herdsmen from grazing and carrying out their legitimate business in any part of the state, adding that monarchs whose domains become hotbed of crisis would be dethroned and replaced.
According to him, since the constitution of the country provides for freedom of movement and association, his government would continue to encourage the fulanis to live and work in the state as this would further promote the economy of the state.
Bello said, “I am deeply concern over some incidences that have to do with clashes between farmers, Nigeria belongs to all of us, Kogi state belongs to all of us including the Fulanis and non fulanis, therefore as far as the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended there is freedom of association, as we go about our normal business there is no part of the state that will be forbidden for the fulanis
“I am not going to enact any law to stop fulani herdsmen from coming to Kogi state, I will not enact any law that will forbid them from going about their normal and lawful business in Kogi state, why don’t we develop a law that will make all of us to be inclusive and live together harmoniously.
“While we are going to guarantee the safety of your lives and properties, you must also show that you care about our farmers, you care about the farms because agriculture is the new source of income we are rediscovering in the country, we will not allow you to destroy the farms but nobody will restrict you from carrying out your normal and lawful businesses.
“Anywhere there is such clash again we will take very harsh measures including dethroning any traditional ruler that cannot secure his domain, including removing any administrator whether appointed or elected, they will be removed and made to face the full wrath of the law”.
Bello also charged the security agencies in the state to reopen all cases of killings arising from clashes between herdsmen and farmers with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to book.
Some traditional rulers present at the parley had earlier proffered solutions to the problem of clashes between farmers and herdsmen with some of the suggesting and supporting promulgation of a law banning open grazing in the state.