Mathias’ wise words

Mr. Timawus Mathias’ article; ‘urgently needed, resolution of the deadly Numan Farmer/Herder clashes’, published in the Daily Trust of Wednesday, 6th of December, 2017, could not have been better titled, better written or come at a better time. It’s no coincidence that Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, the Vice President, found himself echoing the same words while on a crisis visit to Numan yesterday. Neither minced words in conveying the grim nature of this conflict; it won’t produce winners, only death and destruction.


Timawus Mathias, a well-respected elder from Numan, didn’t permit himself the luxury of climbing the high horse, choosing which side to blame or absolve; a common mistake many community leaders and commentators make these days.  They would rather agitate than suggest solutions. Not Mathias. His statements are so far the most accurate, dispassionate and a most useful guide to whatever action this nation must take if we are to escape the fate of 1992 Kigali.

There is nothing to add to what Mathias has propounded: “… It is a resource (land) conflict, certainly neither religious nor ethnic. Even if both farmer and herder were Fulani, same would have happened…”


I wish therefore to commend the author for his statesmanship, his wisdom and valuable advice. I plead with the authorities, all other stakeholders and particularly the elite, to emulate Mathias in our search for a fair and just resolution of this very difficult problem.


Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd), Kaduna.


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