Saleh Alhassan, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore herdsmen group says President Muhammadu Buhari has not done anything for the Fulani Herdsmen but only creating enemies for them.
In an interview with Punch Newspaper, Alhassan said herdsmen were far worse off under Buhari administration.
He also said Herdsmen being marginalised in the country, calling on the Federal Government to heed the call for the restructuring of the country to allow the Fulani go their way.
On Monday, Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, ordered herders to vacate the forest reserves over rising insecurity in the state.
Akeredolu had said “bad elements” have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.
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The governor’s directive sparked mixed reactions, with Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, saying Akeredolu cannot unilaterally oust thousands of herders “who have lived all their lives in the state”.
The Northern Elders Forum also asked the herders in the state to disregard Akeredolu’s order.
“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,” he said.
There was also increased tension in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Friday when a Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Igboho, reportedly stormed the Fulani settlement in the town to eject the Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and some other herdsmen accused of fuelling security problems in the area, having issued a ‘quit notice’ to them earlier.
“If the President is a Fulani, it doesn’t in any way affect the life of a herder. In fact, they are worse off under Buhari. What are they benefitting? They don’t access any government facility or social amenity, yet they are responsible for the bulk of animal protein we produce in this country. I think it’s deliberate for people to think otherwise.
“Buhari has not done anything for us other than creating enemies for us. Herders are being chased around. Let us look at the larger picture and not allow enemies penetrate us. If Buhari loves the herders, he would have created the grazing reserves for them.”
Alhassan however warned that further attacks on the herdsmen might be pushing them into rebellion. “Our fear is for these people not to be radicalised, and people who accuse herders of committing crimes should get the security agents to arrest and prosecute them,” he added.