The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have voiced out their frustration under President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the current administration has not done anything for them other than creating enemies for herdsmen.
The National Secretary of the group, Saleh Alhassan, stated this during an interview with PUNCH, while reacting to the public perception that herders are being protected by the presidency.
He said that herdsmen were being marginalised in the country and that it was best if they were on their own where they would be protected.
Noting that hersmen are worse off under Buhari, Alhassan said the mistake most Nigerians make is that they think when they put pressure on herders they are getting back at the President.
“We don’t support crime. So, I’m not saying there are no Fulani that are criminals, there are, like other tribes, but don’t destroy their profession. It’s not good for the country. If everything busts, it’s to the advantage of the herders because we are not even enjoying the federation.
“We are even bidding for restructuring of the country; let every part go, so we can say this is where we are. As it is now, there is no form of marginalisation we are not seeing in this country. Everywhere we are being marginalised. You think we will accept Nigeria where we don’t have access to land to feed our animals and you think there will be peace?”
When asked if he thinks restructuring would solve the herders/farmers crisis, Alhassan said:
“Quite fundamentally. If we leave today now and if there is no oil revenue, won’t they pay attention to animal rearing? If we restructure the country and the South-West region says they won’t accept cattle unless they are brought to the market or supermarket, it’s okay by us.
“The mistake people make is that they think when they put pressure on herders they are getting at President (Muhammadu) Buhari. Buhari has no relationship with the herders. That is the truth. When people say he is our grandpatron, was Jonathan from the South-South not our grandpatron?
“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 said further that government’s refusal to address the issue of land management, which he said is at the root of the crisis, had been fuelling the crisis.
This is coming contrary to an earlier statement by the National President of Miyetti Allah, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, that all lands in Nigeria belongs to the Fulani, and that nobody can chase herdsmen away from any forest in any state.