The National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Mr Alhassan Saleh, says Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State is playing with herders-farmers crisis by asking the Federal Government to prohibit movement of cattle from the north to the south.
Saleh, who accused Ganduje of eyeing Vice-President position in 2023 general election, said demonising Fulani people won’t solve the crisis as Nigeria is the headquarters of all Fulanis from 20 countries in Africa.
“The Fulani are not a minority. They are an African tribe and what is happening is reverberating across the continent. Anybody thinking they can make life difficult for the Fulani is making a mistake. We are in 20 African countries and Nigeria is our headquarters, whether people like it or not,” he said.
On Kano’s governor prescribed solution to the farmers-herders crisis, Saleh said :”He [Ganduje] is now courting political networks across the South, positioning himself to become the Vice-President, so he is now playing to the gallery and trying to speak what he thinks the public would welcome.
“What he proposed is not the solution. Fundamentally, you cannot begin to relocate people; they are citizens of this country. You cannot address the issues of climate change and hate speech by relocating people. There are herders who have spent years in southern Nigeria; there are herders straddled between the southern part of the country and the Benin Republic. Where do you intend to relocate them to?
“All this noise that he [Ganduje] is making, what has he created for the herders? What infrastructures have they provided? These are even not the issues. The main issue is that nobody has the fundamental right to evict citizens from places where they have their livelihoods. That is a very dangerous signal and it is going to have serious repercussions because when you displace herders who are innocent, you are creating a bandwagon effect; there will be consequences.
“They should go after the criminals, and it’s not the responsibility of the herders to identify the criminals because they share the same geography. It’s the responsibility of the state and security agencies. Ganduje thinks because he is an APC [All Progressives Congress] stakeholder, all these things happening are a nuisance. It’s a challenge that fundamentally bothers on mismanagement of our resources.
“We are watching the events, but definitely, something will give way. It’s not a healthy development because by the time you start relocating ethnic nationalities to where you think they should be, we are fundamentally destroying the fabrics of this country.
“The solution is very simple: Create spaces for these herders, who are Nigerians, and create laws to govern the spaces. In Oyo State, we only have 20 hectares available for cattle herding. Expand the capacity of the place. You can’t begin to evict people based on ethnicity; they are just giving criminals the opportunity to destabilise this country. How can you go and be evicting herders who are settled, burning their houses and killing their cattle and you think you are solving a problem.
“What some people want is to create reprisals so that this country can go into crisis. But the pastoralists are not like that; they don’t visit injustice on people who do justice to them. However, anybody, whether they are in Daura [Katsina State], that does injustice to a herder will definitely get a reprisal.
“It can take time, but the reprisal will come. It’s a cultural thing. That is why we are calling on people to be very careful. Herders have nothing, they don’t benefit anything from the government. They are victims. That is why when we see ethnic warlords ganging up, we just laugh because they cannot manage what they are inviting. Let them go after the criminals. In fact, herders are the first victims of criminals in this country.
“They lose their lives and animals, and they are kidnapped. It does not make sense that because you share an ethnicity with a criminal, then you are also a criminal. Where are justice and education in the whole situation emerging? What is happening is someone’s script, and they want chaos. And they will get chaos but not from the herders.”