STATES in the country has been warned, in the interest of peace, not to enact and implement anti-open grazing law without provision for Fulani herdsmen.
This warning is coming from the coordinator of the Benue State chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Garius Gololo.
Gololo gave the warning in an interview with Sun Newspaper while detailing the genesis of the recent crisis in Benue State.
He said the state governor, Samuel Ortom, used, by raising the hopes of Fulani herdsmen while soliciting for their votes during his pre-election campaigns, and dumped them after he rode partly on their support to the Government House.
“I am saying that no state should enact or implement anti-open grazing law without making proper provision for the Fulani; if provisions are made, they can go ahead. For now, that is the condition and there will be no end in sight to the problem unless they make provision for the Fulani because they are citizens and have nowhere to go. It appears they want to deny Fulani their legal rights; their business, and from where they were born and bred; it’s not possible,” Gololo was quoted by the publication as saying.
He also asked former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to apologize over a statement credit to him that herdsmen should be moved to Sambisa forest where they can openly graze their cows.
“I didn’t expect him to make such a comment that herdsmen should go to Sambisa, Obasanjo is against Fulani and we won’t take it. Why doesn’t he carry his cows to Sambisa forest? Obasanjo should apologize to us,” he said.
When asked wether it is true that rather than God, the Fulani worship their cow, he said, “Ah, ah, why won’t you worship what you are gaining from? They worship God, but they depend on their cow. If you want to marry, it’s from that cow; if you are going to the hospital, it’s from that cow, if you want to eat, it’s from that cow. So, for people to say Fulani worship cows, its clear; they must, because it’s from it they eke a living. Fulani does not need road, they don’t need electricity, and they don’t need a big house.”
He also debunked insinuations in some quarters that the spike in herdsmen attacks was because the country has a president from the Fulani extraction, saying not all the attacks in the state were carried out by herdsmen.
He, however, urged the federal government to intervene and take decisive action that will curb farmers and herdsmen clash across the country.