Senator representing Nasarawa West, Abdullahi Adamu, has in an interview with Sunday Sun, warned that no one should complain should the North begin to retaliate the killings and damages suffered by northerners living in the South.
Adamu who was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, and now a senator under the All Progressives Congress (APC), said Northerners living in the South have suffered injustice, while southerners living in the North enjoy the benefits without being attacked.
He however, added that moves by Southern Governors to ban open grazing without providing alternatives, and also doing nothing about the killings of Northerners in the South, could come at a heavy cost, as Southerners living in the North could end up paying the price.
He said while the governors pretend to be against the breaking of the country, their actions speaks otherwise.
“They (Southern governors) are sounding like a broken record. You know what a broken record does? It cracks,” he said while condemning the decision of 17 Southern Governors to ban open grazing.
“I expected them to be more educated people with responsibility of governance. Each of those governors is under an oath for loyalty, for preservation of the sovereignty of this country.
“That means every one of them is duty-bound to stay away from any act or words that have the tendency of being perceived as being separatists.
“I was a governor for eight years. I know what the Governors’ Forum is. I headed it for five years of my right years. Before that, I was chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum. So, the secretariat you see and the bureaucracy I set them up during my time.”
Adamu added, “Before the Asaba Accord, there was a meeting of all the state governors. About 36 of them were there. Less than a week of that meeting, some people came out and claimed Southern Governors Forum. There is nothing wrong with regional bodies.
“But these governors know the constitution and they know that every Nigerian has the right of movement and association. A right to pursue legitimate goals. These governors are saying no cattle or open grazing. What is the alternative? Have they provided any? If Northern governors come together and take a position, what will happen? What right have you to tell Nigerians not to move freely?
“If northern groups say no southern business in the area, how will that end up? There are killings of northerners going on in the South. If the North decides to retaliate, we will call it genocide. What is happening to us? We only know about problems, but not solutions. People are openly calling for a break up of the country.”
The ban was also condemned by the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, who insists that herdsmen have the constitutional right to graze anywhere in the country, and made it clear that the only thing that would stop herdsmen from grazing in any part of the country, is lack of grass. Otherwise, they’ll continue to graze and nothing would happen.
While speaking on ban on open grazing declared by the Southern governors, he said, “We are going to follow the law and see how to approach some good leaders in the South-East, South-West and the South-South. We will also approach the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to protect our people.
“It is not about grazing; it is a plan against Fulani people. Some people want to hijack the cattle business from us. Anywhere you go now, you see Fulani grazing cows and you will think they belong to them. No! The cows belong to some people in that area or community.
“If you go to Benue, the state that first promulgated the anti open grazing law, you can see cows grazing; their owners are Tiv people. Even the governor, Samuel Ortom, has so many cows. They want to chase us away and continue with our business.
“What these Southern governors are trying to do, some other African countries tried it, but it didn’t work. So, this one will not be an exception. You can’t just wake up without plan B, and say you have banned open grazing.
“This business has history; we didn’t just wake up and start cow rearing. It is a blessing from God; it is God that blessed us with this business, it is not like farming or palm wine tapping business. This is from the beginning; the only thing is how to transform the business.
“These governors are confused; they are trying to deny Fulani their rights and means of livelihood. Nigeria has only one constitution, which the governors are breaching. We may approach the court to stop them from carrying out their plans.
“The process by which they arrived at their decision was wrong. They were supposed to have invited us because we are part of their various states. If you are a governor, you are a governor for everybody living in that state. Since we live in all the states doing our business, it behooved them to have invited us to the meeting.
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“I don’t know who is giving them this evil idea. No state can progress without Fulani being in that state; any state without Fulani is backward and poor. Fulani attract blessing. They don’t have problem, but unfortunately, people attribute kidnapping, robbery and banditry to them. It is not fair.
“They have not seen their people killing police and other security personnel. How many police stations have Fulani burnt? How many policemen have Fulani killed? But they want to tamper with the business God has blessed us with. The governors are very wrong.”
When told Southern governors are determined to execute the recent ban, he said, “I say it categorically that this ban on open grazing by the Southern governors will never work. The only thing that can stop us from grazing in any area is if there are no grasses and water in such place. Fulani don’t have borders or boundaries; they don’t need permission to graze their cows from one area to another area.
“There is no law, no constitution prohibiting them from doing so. Fulani are educated and they believe in leadership. They follow the constitution, which permits them internationally to graze anywhere. ECOWAS permits us to graze anywhere, but any person that commits a crime, let the law of the land be visited upon such a person,” he added.