The recent kidnap of former Secretary of the Government of the Federation and former presidential aspirant, Chief Olu Falae was attributed in many quarters to the Fulani Herdsmen.
Following the public condemnation that followed Falae’s revelation, pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere joined the call for a ban on the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the South West area of Nigeria.
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The Association of Fulani Chiefs and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) differs on that matter. MACBAN claims those who kidnapped Chief Falae were not genuine Fulani herdsmen. They made this known during a press conference in Lagos.
The Chairman of MACBAN’s Ondo Chapter, Bello Garba agreed that the Fulani herdsmen encroach on farmlands sometimes but was quick to note that they will never abandon their cattle and go ahead to kidnap people.
“Most of the Fulani people that came into Ondo came in as cattle breeders and you don’t expect them to just leave their animals and be kidnapping. We have been residing in Ondo State for more than 100 years and no one has ever accused us of any heinous crime in Ondo State or caught us with weapons,” he stated.
Garba also condemned the act while noting that those who carried out the abduction were impersonating the Fulani herdsmen.
“As an Ondo resident, I condemn this act. Clearly, this is impersonation. We live with our families in Ondo. How can we engage in such an act? We are pleading with law enforcement agents to do more investigation and expose the real perpetrators,” he noted.
MACBAN has therefore faulted the calls of pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere for the expulsion of Fulani herdsmen from the South-West region.
The Sarkin Fulani of Lagos, Alhaji Mohammed Bambado who also spoke noted that expelling Fulani herdsmen will be against the African Union charter.
“Need we remind our brothers [Afenifere] of the African Union and ECOWAS charters that give people and animals, particularly, livestock free movement within and across international borders of West African states. Such calls and actions are in direct breach of a number of international treaties and obligations regarding the free movement of persons and animals.
“Banning the movement of cattle from one part of Nigeria to another also violates the constitution of Nigeria on the freedom of movement of people and livestock. It also amounts to ethnic profiling of the nomadic Fulani,” Bambado explained.