Central Nigeria’s Barkin Ladi Local Government authorities are planning a tour of villages attacked by suspected herdsmen last year.
The tour fixed for 5th and 6th November, 2019, Mr. Ezekiel Mandyau, the Chairman of the northern Plateau Local Government said is meant to create opportunities for dialogue between the local farming communities and the alleged attacking herdsmen.
“We cannot stay in Barkin Ladi town (the LG headquarters) and be talking about peace.
“We have to go down to the villages and meet the people directly affected to know their plights and what we must do to rebuild peace,” Mandyau told journalists in Jos, Thursday.
It is the first step towards the full home return of internally displaced persons, the newly appointed LG boss said.
He said, “The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong has set December as the deadline for the return of IDPs and we are going to be tireless in pursuing this.
“We are starting with Gashish and Ropp districts that were worst hit by the attacks.
“After the tour, we will get back to the governor to know the next step.
“We want our people to spend Christmas at home.”
At least 30,000 people were last year displaced from over 10 villages in the local government, during armed attacks that lasted several days.
Officials place the death toll from the attacks at 200, but aid organizations say the figure could be higher.
The State government last year December started relocating IDPs from camps back to their homes.
No less than 200 IDPs were accompanied with food items, beddings and other household essentials to three communities thought to have been less hit by the attacks.
Several meetings have been organized by government and nongovernmental organizations to identify and resolve the contending issues for peace to return.
The attacks which hitherto occurred on weekly basis despite security reinforcements have been reduced to few isolated cases which only occur once in a while.
With this, the LG authorities believe investors can take advantage of its vast agricultural potentials for business.
Mr. Mandyau, a human rights lawyer appointed by Governor Simon Lalong as caretaker of the Local Government said, “We farm potatoes, beans, rice, maize, millet, guinea corn, hungry rice, pineapple, cucumber, water melon, pumpkin, different spices and vegetables.
“We are very rich even in mineral resources like tin and columbite, rich in culture and also in land human resources.
“Our people are very hospitable and anyone coming to do business with us has an assurance of the best results, especially with the renewed commitment of government to peace and security.”