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Regional News Mon, 17 May 2010

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Surrender alleged butchers' killers to ensure peace and harmony - DCE

Bujai (NR), May 17, Mr Alhassan Mumuni, DCE for East Gonja District, has appealed to Fulanis in the district, especially those around Bujai where two butchers were allegedly murdered, to help identify the culprits to ensure peace and harmony in the area.

He said everybody in the district would continue to live in fear if the real people who killed the butchers were not surrendered to the police for prosecution, since butchers in the area were likely to avenge the death of their colleague. Two butchers, Alhassan Gado and Sulemana Muntaka, were murdered last Tuesday by unknown assailants in a village near Bujai where they went to buy cattle from Fulani herdsmen and their bodies found the next day by a search team from Salaga.

Mr Mumuni made the appeal during a meeting with heads and representatives of Fulani herdsmen operating around the Bujai community to persuade them to identify and hand over the killers to the police. He said there was the need for Fulani herdsmen to live decent lives in the country for people to erase the negative perception about them to foster unity and harmony among them and the indigenes.

"Everyone is pointing accusing fingers at you people because the butchers are dealing with you always. Even if the butchers were engaged in cattle rustling the best option was for you to arrest them and hand them over to the police but not to take the law into your own hands", he said. He said there were no separate laws for aliens and advised the Fulanis to always abide by the country's laws so that their presence in the country would not be a threat to people. He appealed to the people of the area to remain calm and allow the security forces to investigate the matter, and gave the assurance that the District Security Committee would pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.

The chief of Bujai Traditional Area, Kanyansiwura Alhaji Abubakari Sulemana, said everybody in the community was now living in perpetual fear and indicated that if the Fulanis did not help to identify the killers, they would only have themselves to blame.

He said the butchers were not killed by wild animals since there were traces of gunshots on them and that though no one was caught in the act, the Fulanis could not prove their innocence. "A few people's action has now put all of you in fear so why don't you fish them out and be free," he added. Mr Sulemana Hamidu, Chief of the Fulanis in the area, said he would involve himself in the investigations by helping the security forces to delve into the matter and would not shield anyone found culpable. He said Fuanis were peace-loving and expressed regret that many people linked them to a lot of negativity. He advised those among them who are fond of committing crimes to desist so that the good ones would live in the country peacefully.

Meanwhile, the Salaga police have picked two Fulani suspects in connection with the murder. The bodies of the two butchers have since been buried and police investigations are ongoing.

Source: GNA

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