Following the fight against the killer, Fulani herdsman in the South West, The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore herdsmen group has made it known to the Federal Government that the Fulani should be allowed to go their way.
According to Saleh Alhassan who is the National Secretary of the group, herdsmen are being marginalised in the country and that it would be better if the Fulani tribe are allowed to be on their own.
Stressing this further, Alhassan said, “We are even bidding for the 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?”.
He said he thinks restructuring would be the solution because, “ 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”.
He also made it known that “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 grand patron, was Jonathan from the South-South, not our grand patron?”.
“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”, he added.
Going further he revealed that, “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 to penetrate us. If Buhari loves the herders, he would have created the grazing reserves for them”.
Alhassan asserted that “We need to modernise cattle grazing and the government needs to have an input because the land belongs to the government. You can’t do ranching without land. Modernising it is a key solution to this and the government has a key role to play”.
He said, “We must accommodate the herders in Nigeria, whichever arrangement because that is the sustainable way to peace. Create a sustainable land use policy where you accommodate people that have a need for the land. Create grazing land for these people and create laws that would govern them. If we don’t solve this problem, we will be complicating it.”
However Alhassan revealed that false accusations against the herders may lead them to being rebellious.