The Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, on Tuesday, hosted repentant Fulani herdsmen formerly involved in criminal acts.
The hosting which was done during the ‘Sharo’ cultural festival, was said to be in fulfillment of a peace pact reached with the ex-hoodlums.
The Sharo Fulani cultural festival is a yearly event organised at the end of the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
The festival was last held eight years ago due to insecurity occasioned by banditry perpetuated by suspected Fulanis.
Governor Matawalle, however, invited the Fulani and the repentant bandits for the festival in fulfilment of the peace agreement the state government reached with the ex-bandits.
It was gathered that over 20,000 Fulanis and other well-wishers attended the festival where Fulani popular cultural activities were displayed.
Matawalle, top government functionaries, Fulani leaders and many repentant bandits graced the event.
The governor commended the reformed bandits and the Fulani leaders for accepting the peace initiatives brought up by his administration.
He expressed delight that this year’s Eid-el-Kabir was celebrated without any killings in the state.
He stated, “I want to use this opportunity to thank my Fulani brothers for accepting the peace accord. This year’s Eid-el Kabir is the only one we witnessed where no live was lost as a result of banditry.”
He maintained that his administration would soon come out with welfare packages for the Fulani to enable them to live a decent life.
The state Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Ahmed Husaini, who commended the governor for allowing the Fulani to perform their cultural festival, assured him that the Fulani had agreed to abide by the peace pact.
Ahmed added, “All of us who are Fulani in Zamfara State are ready to ensure lasting peace in the state. We will support you (the governor) in your effort to move the state forward.”