By; DAHIRU SULEIMAN, Dutse
The eviction order by Ondo State Government on Fulani herdsmen residing in the state to vacate the forest reserves has continued to attract public attention and comment’s.
The recent one is coming from the National body of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Cattle Breaders Association of Nigeria where its National Secretary, Alh. Saleh Alhassan described the development as resulting from personal hatred, aimed at fishing for trouble.
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, the group’s spokesman viewed with concerns how herdsmen were being marginalized in the country indiscriminately under the leadership of President Buhari despite his position as the group’s life patron.
On the alleged claims of Ondo State Government that the eviction order was hinged on grounds that herdsmen are trouble makers all over the place, perpetrating unnecessary killings, and uprising, among other atrocities, Alhassan debunked such claims as unfounded and misleading, adding that such claims were politically motivated just to cast unusual aspersions purposely to dent their image, as peace loving citizens of the country.
” We don’t support crime, and criminality in all its ramifications, since there are no Fulanis that are criminals, Fulanis are peace loving citizens anywhere in the land unlike any other tribe, if everything bust, it’s for the advantage of the herders because we are not even enjoying the federation”.
He contended that going by marginalisation of their group members everywhere in the country, they have no option than to throw their weight towards supporting the agitation of restructuring the country for everyone to go his own way.
In a related development, the national secretariat of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has described Governor Akeredolu pronouncenents as provocative which have disastrous consequences.
In a strong worded statement issued and signed by the forum’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, the forum implored Governor Akeredolu to rescind to his earlier order on herders to vacate forest reserves, or to quickly clarify his position publicly in the event that he was misunderstood.
The forum urged the Fulanis in Ondo State to stay where they are and continue to be law abiding.
They also called on them to collaborate with all legitimate authorities to police their communities against criminal elements, but they should resist moves to be labelled entirely as criminals.