Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has revealed how his administration traced some violent and aggrieved Fulani herdsmen to their countries and paid them to stop the killings in Southern Kaduna.
Speaking with select reporters in his office in Kaduna, the governor disclosed that the crisis in Southern Kaduna dates back to the 2011 elections.
He revealed that the herdsmen, who were affected by the post election violence at the time, demanded compensation for loss of their cattle which his government paid.
The governor maintained that the renewed violence in Southern Kaduna is being perperterated by bandits.
This is coming at a time when the governor pointed out that God will ask him of the role he played inresolving the crisis on Southern Kaduna.
Speaking with the journalists, El-Rufai said, “For southern Kaduna, we didn’t understand what was going on and we decided to set up a committee under Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) to l out what was going on there. What was established was that the root of the problem has a history starting from the 2011 post election violence.
“Fulani herdsmen from across Africa bring their cattle down towards Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. The moment the rains starts around March, April, they start moving them up to go back to their various communities and countries
“Unfortunately, it was when they were moving up with their cattle across Southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 took place and the crisis trapped some of them.
“Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with the cattle.
“So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.
“So a lot of what was happening in Southern Kaduna was actually from outside Nigeria. We got a hint that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa got this information and he sent someone to go round some of these Fulani communities, but of course after he died, the whole thing stopped. That is what we inherited. But the Agwai committee established that.
“We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.
“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”