■ Garba noted that it was wrong for cows to be roaming about in the country in the 21st century.
Amidst the notice to quit given to herdsmen in Ogun and Oyo states, a former All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, has said that lands in Nigeria, including forests belong to some entities and that cows should graze with proper authorisation.
Garba noted that it was wrong for cows to be roaming about in the country in the 21st century.
The National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, had declared that nobody has the power to remove Fulani herdsmen from forests in Ondo State.
Bodejo had stated this in an interview with The Sun, noting that all lands in the country belonged to the Fulani and only the Fulani herdsmen could tackle the bandits wreaking havoc in the country.
But according to Garba in a post on his Facebook page, the lands indeed have valid owners.
He said, “I’m a Fulani man, but I can tell you that it doesn’t make sense for cows to be roaming the streets in 2021. Cows should be ranched on a land acquired or rented by the ranchers.
“By law, land can only be used through rent or purchase. Government should step forward and clear this out. I believe, to reconcile the raging herders crisis is to open proper communication where each knows the laws of the land.
“All lands in Nigeria, including forests, belong to some entities — Federal Government, state governments, local governments, companies or individuals. Thus no land can be used without proper authorisation.
“The problem of the Fulani herders is a betrayal from the city Fulani people, whom, after moving to cities, acquiring wealth and power, forgot to carry the village brothers along, leaving them in a desperate situation. The rich Fulani people must come together and get ranching lands.
“Land issue is as old as humanity; no state power can give land to anyone where the land has being identified with owners for generations, without purchasing or renting.
“The rich Fulani people must come together and assist our fellow brothers to get ranching lands or forests for grazing.” (SAHARAREPORTERS)
As the seven-day ultimatum Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, issued herdsmen occupying Ondo state forests expires tomorrow, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo has declared that no power remove Fulani herdsmen from the state’s forests.
In an interview with VINCENT KALU, the Miyetti Allah leader stressed that their people have settled there for over 250 years and so they are not going to obey anybody to leave the place.
He claims the Fulani ethnic group owns all the land in Nigeria. “All the lands in this country belong to the Fulani, but we don’t have any business to do with land if it doesn’t have areas for grazing; if the land doesn’t have cow food, we won’t have any business with it. We don’t sell land, we don’t farm. What we consider is the areas that have cow food. If the place is good for grazing, we don’t need anybody’s permission to go there”, he stated.
Following allegations of kidnapping and robbery carried out by Fulani herdsmen, Ondo State government has given them seven-day ultimatum to leave the forests in the state, what is your reaction?
The Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu doesn’t have any right to give such ultimatum to our people. People, including Fulani voted for him to be the governor; so he should be the governor of everybody in the state.
Fulani have been in the forests he is talking about even before he was born; they have been there for over 250 years. No matter how dangerous a forest may be, Fulani would go and settle there. After staying there for a long time and their cow dung turns the place fertile, people would begin to come there to farm and to settle and from then, they begin to make claims that our cattle were destroying their farms.
We are suing the governor and seeking injunction restraining him and others from carrying out his threat. But even at that, nobody, no power can send the herdsmen out of Ondo State.
When are you going to court as the ultimatum will soon expire?
We are making consultations with our legal team. But before then, the governor and his people should stop embarrassing our people in the forests and all their businesses.
No any herdsman will obey the governor; the herdsmen will not step an inch out of Ondo forests; they are going nowhere. We won’t obey the governor; it is only the constitution of Nigeria that we obey. We have been in that area before he was born, how can he just grow up and ask us to leave; no Fulani will leave that place.
What are his reasons for the quit notice?
He alleged that it is the herdsmen that are kidnapping and robbing people and they operate from the forests. We are not in support of any form of criminality- armed robbery, kidnapping, gun running etc. These crimes are the reasons we have the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Army, DSS, even Civil Defence to nab perpetrators and there are courts everywhere to try them and if found guilty, appropriate punishment meted out to them. The governor is the chief security officer of the state, there is no reason he should single out one ethnic group for the crimes committed in the state. He is supposed to accommodate more Fulani in the state and not to drive them out. Driving them out is not the solution.
I have just concluded a meeting with my fellow Fulani and we have found out that some people will adorn Fulani attire to carry out various crimes. How can Fulani man living in the forest kidnap and ask people to pay ransom ranging from N5 million to N10 million. What would he be doing with that kind of money inside forest; if you pay herdsmen N20 million, N10 million, N5 million in the forest, where would he carry the money to and what will he be doing with such money? Check the leaders of those criminals; let the governors identify who the criminals are. They are not Fulani. He just wants to use that as an excuse to drive our people away from his state. It is just giving a dog a bad name to hang it; the herdsmen are not the kidnappers, let him carry out proper investigations. Let him know this, no any person in this country can push us out of the forests.
If it becomes so hot and your people decide to go, where would you be headed?
The first thing is that nothing will make us take such decision. If you apply force and out of hundred Fulani, you kill 95 of them, the remaining five will go back there and continue with their grazing. They have been there for up to 250 years. They have been there before the state was even created.
All the lands in this country belong to the Fulani, but we don’t have any business to do with land if it doesn’t have areas for grazing; if the land doesn’t have cow food, we won’t have any business with it. We don’t sell land, we don’t farm. What we consider is the areas that have cow food. If the place is good for grazing, we don’t need anybody’s permission to go there.
Nigerians should know that our association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is not backing anybody who is a kidnapper, armed robber, and we are calling for law enforcement agents to go after all these criminals and deal decisively with them. The criminality all over the country is the more reason we want to fully implement our vigilante system; we want to enter all the forests in this country to check these bandits in the forests that are causing these problems and denting the good image of Fulani ethnic group. We can’t wait any longer; we are sending our vigilantes into the forests to fish out these criminals – those intimidating the herdsmen and stealing their cows and secondly, these bandits causing problems in this country. It is only the Fulani that can enter any forest and chase out these bandits.
Why can’t your people live with the people in the community instead going to live inside forests?
We don’t need cities or towns. If you dash us FCT Abuja or the city of Lagos, we won’t have anything to do with it. We want a place where we continue to practice our age long culture of cattle rearing. We inherited it from our forefathers and it will continue till the end of the world. People are using propaganda to spoil Fulani name, and desperate politicians are in the forefront. Any governor that is drumming up on the Fulani herdsmen issue, watch well, he has issue or problem whether political or otherwise in his state. It is possible that Akeredolu is fighting a political battle, it may be 2023 election and that is why he is playing up this Fulani herdsmen issue. It is the same with Benue State governor, Ortom, when he was not performing; he started to play up Fulani herdsmen and farmers issue to draw support from his people. For almost six years, he hasn’t done any work in his state; he is talking about herdsmen and his people.
Fulani can settle in any bush or forest they want the moment they have cows. We agreed that our children will pursue education and other activities other people are doing in town, but even me, I’m not comfortable staying in the city, up till now my house is inside village.
Why is it that you would not take permission from the owners of the forests before you settle there?
Which forest, who has the forest? Any person who thinks he owns any forest should be taken to psychiatric hospital. Nobody owns any forest; forests are for Nigerians. Fulani herdsmen have the right to move into any forest and settle there for their business. Why do farmers go and cultivate thousands of hectare of land and fence it, who gave them that land? Nobody is born with a land in this country; people were just moving from one place to another for settlement. Fulani are settling in every community, but we are not claiming land, we are only interested on how our cows will have food to eat.
Fulani can’t value 100 people’s lives like he can value his one cow because since he was born, he doesn’t have any business except that cow. The cow is like his own brothers and sisters. If anything happens to his cow, do you think he can leave you? You have two or three storey buildings and you park your cars , do you fold your hands and watch somebody come to that house carry your cars, your clothes, your wife, destroy the buildings? You must fight. The Fulani man values his cow just as you value your brother and sister and you go all out to protect them. They love their cows beyond description, you can’t separate them from their cows to go and stay inside town or city. The cows have names. The way you give your children names when they were born is the same way they name their cows. Even a person who has one thousand cows, those cows have individual names and he knows them by name; the cows have fathers, grandfathers and grandchildren. What you have in human beings – the ways names are given to people, the same way Fulani give names to their cows. We are cow lovers , that is why sometimes if you kill their cows somewhere they go there to look for justice, because they see like somebody has killed their brothers; they must go to see who did that and they won’t leave that person.
You said that only the Fulani will drive out the bandits in the forests, why is it that they have not done so in the forests of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger?
Those bandits are not Fulani, but they are damaging the name of Fulani and that is why this our vigilantes will go into all the forests in this country to chase out all the bandits. Whatever atrocity that the bandits commit is hanged on Fulani neck. These bandits are equally killing herdsmen in their numbers in various forests, but many people don’t understand this, and the moment they see herdsmen in the bush, they will tag them bandits or see them as kidnappers. This is disturbing us as it is eroding on our credibility; more so, useless people, desperate politicians and social media warriors have latched on this to poison everybody’s mind against Fulani ethnic group.
Why not your vigilante clear Sambisa Forest, which is so vast so that your people will settle and halt these conflicts in many states?
Borno State governor Zulum said he will give Fulani people Sambisa forest, we are waiting for him and when the approval is given I will be the first person to go and live there. We are also waiting for the federal government to put infrastructures there, and then we move in. Herdsmen in this country are suffering too much; as they move their cattle from one place to the other, some people who want to steal their cows will organise and even kill them, especially these people they are giving uniform in the name of vigilantes.
These people are causing confusion, you just pack some people, give them uniforms to go and drive out Fulani people in the forests. Yes, the Amotekun; I’m calling on the federal government to ban it. Since the federal government has left Amotekun, that is the reason we want to implement our own vigilante, whose operation will be all over the country, not only one state; we will operate everywhere you find Fulani people in this country, we can go there, enter the forests and chase the bandits away. We can help the Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Police Force, the federal government and relevant security agencies to end this banditry in the country. The Ondo State governor has a secret agenda for asking our people to leave his state, not the reasons he stated.
Gunmen had on December 11 invaded the school, shooting into the air to scare away people in the area.
An aide to the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on Thursday, told SaharaReporters that gunmen who attacked Government Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of the state and kidnapped over 300 schoolboys are “truly” members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
Gunmen had on December 11 invaded the school, shooting into the air to scare away people in the area.
Governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari. PT Recall that while speaking in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Governor Masari said his administration was discussing with the suspected abductors through the Miyetti Allah.
He said, “We are discussing through the leadership of MACBAN, Miyetti Allah with those suspected to have carried out the abduction. I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and heads of security agencies two or three hours ago.
“There are talks. It is not about who is in charge, but what is of paramount concern to me as the chief security officer of the state is that these students return home safely. This is what we are talking about.”
However, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Alhassan Saleh, dissociated the group from any discussion with the gunmen.
“I’m not aware of any discussion with any group; you are the second person I will hear this from. A colleague of yours called me in the morning, and I told him the same thing. I have spoken to the state chairman, and he said he wasn’t aware of any discussion or negotiation with the schoolboy’s abductors,” Saleh told SaharaReporters.
Masari’s aide, however, told SaharaReporters to ignore the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah group.
“That’s his business, but I can assure you we are in discussion with the local chapter of Miyetti Allah, the government is in discussion with them. The chairman of the local Miyetti Allah is a civil servant with the state government.
“What the governor said( because I was there) was that they are talking with the bandits, not negotiation. They are talking through Miyetti Allah; the government is talking through Miyetti Allah.
“The military in the theatre of the operation are now talking directly to the bandits, but the government is talking through Miyetti Allah.
“Miyetti Allah is umbrella body of Fulani, so they are talking with some of the leaders for them to persuade their members.” (SaharaReporters)
Herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have expressed scepticism over the inauguration of Operation Amotekun.
Miyetti Allah, however, warned that it would not condone acts of injustice meted out to any of its members by the officials of the outfit or any other vigilance group.
The National Secretary of the group, Alhassan Saleh, said this on Friday during an interview with Saturday PUNCH.
Saleh said, “We have no problem with them as long as they will not target our herders. We have our own defence mechanisms. We fight injustice anywhere, not only in Nigeria. So, if they end up meting out injustice to us, we will fight back. That is the truth but we are law-abiding.
“And as herders, we must herd our cows until there is an alternative provided for us. If they give us alternative, we will go there and if they say they don’t want us, those that want to leave, will leave but what we will not sanction is anybody taking the law into their own hands because we have a history of fighting injustice anywhere there is oppression.”
He stated that Miyetti Allah was not in support of cows straying into people’s farms but movement, as guaranteed by the constitution, must be respected.
Saleh recalled that herdsmen suffered acts of injustice when the Benue State Government set up the livestock guard which ended up extorting money from innocent herders.
The secretary said Operation Amotekun could be used by politicians to perpetuate themselves in power by election rigging.
Saleh argued that South-West governors should have remained true to their call for state police rather than opt for the Operation Amotekun option.
He stated, “When you empower groups and give them arms, the possibility is that others will follow suit and the central government will begin losing its power. Definitely, our politicians will begin to abuse these outfits.
“When it is election time, sitting governors will use the outfits to their advantage. The first casualties of such malfeasance will be the people of that state, because when they want to impose themselves, they use these people because they are already trained and armed just like in Benue State.
“At the end, the livestock guards ended up killing people. It is on record because people have been tried and jailed. So, it is not the way forward. If they cannot push the debate for state police, they should not do such half measures.” (Punch)
By Asogwu IkennaHerdsmen were on Thursday coordinated not to convey arms at whatever point they were in open places in the North-West states. This means that herdsmen has been banned from carrying guns.Volunteer gatherings known as Yansakai were similarly prohibited.The volunteer gatherings were coordinated to give up all weapons in their ownership.These were portions of the four-point goals touched base at following a four-and half-hour meeting between 11 Northern state governors and the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, in Katsina State.Representative Aminu Masari of Katsina State, who read the report after the gathering, said endeavors would likewise be made to guarantee that herdsmen approached improved type of cows.Masari stated, “Herdsmen and their relatives ought to be permitted to go to business sectors and love places, just as go to day by day exercises gave that they don’t convey arms into the open spots.“Herdsmen should behave and leave calmly with each other. The individuals who stole creatures should return them through government or the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.“Contrite criminals, including the Yansakai, should give up arms and ammunition in their ownership to the experts and to discharge individuals that are in their imprisonment.”The Inspector-General of Police said the gathering would be reconvened in one month to audit how far the goals had gone in re-establishing harmony toward the North-West.“The gathering is effective in light of the fact that we were expecting around six Governors however we wound up having 11 which demonstrates that everyone is worried about security. What’s more, the consultation and goals we arrived are so motivating as in everyone is burning of harmony. Both the Fulani in the bramble and the general population in the town, everyone is envious of harmony.“We are going to proceed with this organization that you have been giving us. We will work with you in the execution of the goals. No one is permitted to attack anyone unfairly. You are not permitted to execute, so the volunteers ‘Yansakai’ must be exceptionally cautious never to take arms to attack anyone. Since anyone that does that, we will seek after that individual and ensure we carry such individual to book.” Continue reading →
** Commends S/East govs for cordial relationship with cattle breeders
By Vincent Ujumadu Awka-
THE South East branch of Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Tuesday denied the alleged plan by members of the group to attack the five South East states over their governors’ alleged refusal to allocate grazing land for herdsmen in the area.
In the said report, which was trending in the social media, Miyetti Allah was quoted as warning that since the South East governors had refused to give them land for grazing, such land would be taken by force by herdsmen.
Chairman of Miyetti Allah in the zone, Alhaji Gidado Sidikki, who addressed reporters in Awka said there was no iota of truth in the report, adding that the governors in the zone should rather be commended for creating an enabling environment for peaceful coexistence in the zone.
The statement read: “Few days ago, we woke up to a malicious publication in the social media purporting a phantom statement in Abuja entitled ‘South East will boil any moment from now because of their stubbornness’ ascribed to the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, and erroneously ascribed to me.
“While it is my wish to inform the public that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria did not make any statement to the effect of the content of the publication either in Abuja or anywhere for that matter, I humbly wish to correctly place my designation as the Chairman of South East zone of the association and not the leader of cattle breeders in Nigeria as I was addressed in the publication.
“Again, I wish to put it on record that the South East zone of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and her cattle herder members whom I serve, as the zonal chairman, enjoy warm relationship with the governors, governments and people of South East Nigeria.
“I wish to state that this warmth has not been completely devoid of flashes of momentary conflicts at few locations. Such instances were, however, promptly addressed by the authorities and warm commonality restored amongst the people.
“Given the increasing orientation and reorientation of our people and the local people who are our landlords, and given the strong commitment of the state governors towards peaceful relationship across board, one harbours no doubts that the relationship between our herders and their landlords can only be increasingly better as time progresses.
“It is therefore my intention, while dispelling the published rumour from the pit of malicious mischief, to share my upbeat spirit with all of us. It is my utmost belief that the sincere and committed understanding we all propagate today will yield us minimal rancour if not rancour free society tomorrow.
“I therefore wish to thank the governors of the South East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo for their wonderful sense of accommodation, as I pledge our continued efforts towards greater harmonious environment for thriving economic activities and better life.” (vanguardngr)
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