BY PETER DURU, Makurdi
Bothered by the persistent violent clashes between native Tiv farmers in Guma local government area of Benue State and Fulani herdsmen in the area, Chairman of the council Mr. Franck Usa-Adi has ordered the immediate abolition of cattle tax payable to the local government by the herdsmen.
Usa-Adi who disclosed this yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen at Gbajimba after presenting the 2013 budget estimate to the Guma legislative council, said the move was part of efforts to check further bloodbath in the area.
The Chairman said he had also commenced discussions with the paramount ruler of Awe in neigbouring Nasarawa state from where the herdsmen migrated to Guma with a view to finding lasting solutions to the recurring crisis.
He observed in dismay that the incessant conflict has derailed meaningful development in the area, adding that there was every need for all concerned parties to embrace any initiative will ensure peaceful coexistence among the ethnic groups in the area.
“I have directed all traditional rulers in the council to stop further collection of cattle taxes from Fulani herdsmen. We cannot afford to turn blind eyes to the implication of the crisis on the socio-political development of the affected communities.
”That is the more reason why we must all endeavor to shift grounds at this critical moment so that peace can rein and everybody will be better for it”, the council boss said.
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