President Buhari not doing enough to help Fulani herdsmen - Miyetti Allah
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Kwara State has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing enough to help Fulani herdsmen in the country.
The union also canvassed for the release of the Games Reserves across the country for use of the herdsmen.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Friday, the chairman of the association, Alhaji Usman Adamu, said that the measure is one of the steps to arrest incessant clashes or misunderstandings between farmers and herdsmen in the country.
"We have these reserves across the country, from Bauchi state come down to Ogun state being inhabited by bush meat. If government can release these reserves to us there won't be problems between farmers and herdsmen again", he said.
The chairman of the Miyetti Allah cattle breeders association, who said that the federal government was not doing enough to quell the lingering problem of herdsmen and farmers, expressed concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari, despite being one of them, had not helped the Fulani.
He warned the President not to forget the Fulani blood in his veins as well as the fact that "if he continues to neglect his people, God will ask him one day.
"I want Buhari not to forget that he too is Fulani; Fulani blood is in his veins and if he does not help us, God will ask him," he said.
Alhaji Adamu, who lamented that government was taking Fulani people across Nigeria for granted, accused politicians of abandoning them after each election even when they had helped them to get into power.
He also advised the Kwara State government to create an office of Special Assistant on Fulani Matters to be occupied by a Fulani in the state, to arrest incessant clashes or misunderstanding between farmers and herdsmen, saying that the step would give his people a sense of belonging.
He appealed to government to build schools for them, saying Fulani people now want to be educated unlike in the past.
Speaking on the directive by the authorities of the University of Ilorin asking Fulani settlers on the land of the university to vacate the place, the chairman of the Miyetti Allah, appealed to the state government to prevail on authorities of the university not to evict them.
Alhaji Adamu, who said that Fulani people had settled on the land before the existence of the university, added that it would be difficult for them to relocate from the campus.
"Where can we go? Even if they give us another settlement, we will accept but I don't think it will work because we have a recent instance where the Emir of Lafiagi wrote a letter of commendation for one of our people who had stayed for over 20 years in his domain and wanted to relocate. When he got to Oke-Oyi, an outskirt of Ilorin metropolis, the Yoruba people rejected him. So where are we going that they will not chase us away?", he asked rhetorically.
On the allegation that the Fulani cattle breeders on the university had caused havoc to research plants, economic crops and even poisoned the institution's dam, the Miyetti Allah leader said that the herdsmen responsible for the alleged poisoning of the dam and destruction of the institution’s research farms were not members of the association.
He said that the Fulani people behind the destruction belong to a group known as Ga'Allah which he claimed came from the troubled spots in Plateau State.
"I can swear by the Holy Quran that we have no problem with the university; none of our members has ever been arrested for any crime in the university and I'm proud of that. Our camp is about 20 kilometres from the university. In fact if you are with us you won’t know you are in the university. We are in a thick bush. We have a school there called Gaa Usman Nomadic School which is named after me. My children attend the school like other Fulani. And even we have been here before the University; they came to meet us here. That is the usual case of Fulani people in Nigeria; Fulanis are the first settlers in every country.
"It is some Fulani at Bolorunduro area who are members of Ga'Allah that have problems with the university. I cannot deny that some Fulanis have problems with the university but they are not our members because we have about nine of our boys working with the university as guards. We have no dam in our area and we don't have many cows around here because we send them out of the country to such places as Benin Republic during dry season.
"The people in Bolorunduro are not in Miyetti Allah association; they are under Ga'Allah," he said.
I had once written to the former Vice Chancellor to say we had nothing to do with those people.
"Ga'Allah was an association they brought from Plateau and when they came I told the Department of State Services (DSS), the police, the Emir and the S.A Security that it is not a good association because they came from a place where there was trouble and they are not known unlike we that are known across Africa."
When he was asked to proffer possible solution the problem posed by the Ga’Allah group, Alhaji, Adamu said that he had made several representations to the authorities and the state government, saying that, "government knows what to do", reiterating that he had intervened on several occasions on the matter before.
He also said that he had been coordinating activities of the Miyetti Allah Vigilante Group with the support of the state government and Emir of Ilorin. He said the group had busted several high profile crimes such as a recent kidnapping of an oil dealer who lost N76 million to kidnappers in Kwara North senatorial district of the state and the arrest of armed invaders at Kaiama local government area of the state.