Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore which is the Fulani socio-cultural association, has raised the alarm that enemies in Nigeria, including state apparatus have risen against Fulani pastoralists in Nigeria, and are determined to make life miserable them and frustrate their trade, livestock grazing.
This, the Association said, was in addition to years of frustrations, denials and unjust attacks on the people and their sources of livelihood by local communities and in some cases, government agencies.
The Association was also concerned that Fulani Pastoralists across Nigeria have been profiled by both the media, society and security agencies and painted as enemies of the people and state, and therefore harassed, intimidated, extorted and punished unjustly.
It, however, encouraged its members to be patient, calm, forgiven and focus on their business of livestock grazing and also endeavour to build and maintain peace, unity and cordial relationship with the neighbors.
The Association’s President, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, who addressed mammoth crowd of Fulani pastoralists from across Nigeria and beyond who gathered at the Association’s headquarters located along Abuja-Keffi Expressway, Nasarawa state, at the weekend, for the maiden edition of Fulani cultural festival promised that the Association has re-strategized in its approach to protect the pastoralists wherever they are across Nigeria and secure justice for them.
He, however, rained curses on some state governors whom, he claimed, chased Fulani pastoralists away from their states using state systems, assuring them that peace will continue to elude them until they reverse their decisions and wholeheartedly welcome and accept the pastoralists as members of the society. “We know our friends and enemies and we will act at the right time,” he said.
Bodejo insisted that his people (Fulani pastoralists) are not bandits, kidnappers or perpetrators of crime against the society as being alleged, insisting that Fulani communities must have been infiltrated by enemies that are using the pictures and images of Fulani pastoralists to unleash terror and carry out organized crime.
He added: “Nevertheless, we encourage our members who are aggrieved and might had
decided to retire to the bush, and from there launch attacks to have a rethink, shield their sword and returned to the society so we can collectively attend to whatever their grievances are.
“In as much as we don’t support arms struggle, our people have, undoubtedly, been badly treated over the years in Nigeria. We have been cheated, denied all the necessary opportunities for good life and education, and this time, our sources of livelihood are being targeted. Obviously, we have been pushed to the wall, hence the justification to the recent display of anger by our people. It’s left for the government and the people to do the needful.”
He encouraged the Fulani herdsmen to participate in political process starting with the registration and acquisition of National Identity Number (NIN) and Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to enable them participate in election decisions and other national issues.
Meanwhile, the Wives of Bauchi and Kebbi State Governors Aishatu Bala Mohammed and Dr. Zainab Bagudu, respectively, in their remarks (in Hausa language) encouraged the herdsmen to shield their sword and embrace peace, insisting that whatever their grievances are can only be attended to in the atmosphere of peace.
They asked them to embrace education and other enlightenment programmes in order to be at abreast with development in their immediate environment and across the world.