The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has threatened that nobody should dare regulate the activities of the Fulani herders anywhere within the country.
This is according to the National President of the group, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, during an interview. He noted that “no power can send the herdsmen out of Ondo State”.
Bodejo was reacting to the recent ultimatum of eviction issued to the herders in the South-West States.
Note, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and other individuals like Sunday Igboho of Oyo state, had asked the herders to vacate the South West forest as terrorism and banditry increasingly overwhelmed the region.
Bodejo who claimed that only Fulani herdsmen could tackle the bandits kidnapping and killing people across the country, added that his group was also against the herdsmen kidnapping and robbing people while also operating from forests.
In his words, “The Ondo State governor doesn’t have any right to give such ultimatum to our people. People, including Fulani, voted for him to be the governor; so he should be the governor of everybody in the state.
“Fulani have been in the forests he is talking about even before he was born; they have been there for over 250 years. No matter how dangerous a forest may be, Fulani would go and settle there.
“After staying there for a long time and their cow dung has made the place fertile, people would begin to come there to farm and settle and after then, they begin to make claims that our cattle are destroying their farms.
“We are suing the governor and seeking an injunction restraining him and others from carrying out his threat. But even at that, nobody, no power can send the herdsmen out of Ondo State.
“We are making consultations with our legal team. But before then, the governor and his people should stop embarrassing our people in the forests and all their businesses. No herdsman will obey the governor; the herdsmen will not step an inch out of Ondo forests; they are going nowhere.
“We are not in support of any form of criminality — armed robbery, kidnapping, gun running, etc. These crimes are the reasons why we have the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, and even the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps to nab perpetrators. And there are courts everywhere to try them and if found guilty, appropriate punishments should be meted out to them.
“I have just concluded a meeting with my fellow Fulani and we have found out that some people will adorn Fulani attire to carry out various crimes.
“How can a Fulani man living in the forest kidnap and ask people to pay ransoms ranging from ₦5 million to ₦10 million? What will he be doing with that kind of money inside the forest? If you pay herdsmen ₦20 million, N10 million, ₦5 million in the forest, where will he carry the money to and what will he be doing with such money?” he said.
Nwada Ugochinyere Onyechere reporting, Obinwannem News