Ango Abdullahi, the spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has stated that the killings by suspected fulani herdsmen in the middle belt region is a political agenda to split the north.
In a statement issued on Friday, February 2, 2013, he is quoted as saying “that is the bottom line. the herdsmen crisis is politically driven. We have been having herdsmen for over 200 years or 300 years ago in Nigeria, particularly we in the North. I haven’t seen how this crisis between farmers and herdsmen would lead to attacks and loss of lives.
“This is a politically driven agenda, perhaps, intended to split the monolithic North; we have been talking about the monolithic North for a long time politically in this country. I have been involved in debates against some respected people from the southern part of this country who believe that this country is not balanced because the North is too big; because the North is too politically united, so there must be a way of disrupting this unity, and this is what we are seeing on ground today, and the elements that are being used are the Fulani herdsmen.
“This matter would be looked at properly; political alliances and so on are welcome. You don’t need to lose blood, or property to engage in political alliance or whatever you want, or still, you don’t need to introduce excuses that will lead to loss of lives.
“We saw this when the Boko Haram was on ground; they said the Northerners created the sect to disrupt former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, which led to his failure in the last election, and so on.
“Now that Boko Haram is out of the way, the new excuse is the Fulani herdsmen.This is what is happening in other places except in areas that you are talking. We have seen what they called a new handshake across the Niger; it is political, and we have seen the mourning that has taken place in Benue and other places to show that the northern North is not in tandem with the Middle Belt; it is all politics.
“Our Middle Belters don’t need to take the agenda that appears to be a thing of distrust. We are not going to force anybody into a relationship politically or otherwise. We see this as a political agenda.”