The apex Fulani social-cultural organisation, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has rejected calls for the sacking of the service chiefs.
The Secretary-General of the group, Saleh Al-Hassan, said this during an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Monday monitored by urban express News-correspondent.
A large section of Nigerians, including the National Assembly and governors, has called on President Mohammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs for failing to protect the lives of Nigerians.
However, Al-Hassan said those calling for the sacking of the service chiefs “are corrupt politicians.”
He said, “We have documented 411 innocent pastoralists killed just in southern Kaduna for nothing. We have documented all the crises but because we want peace and want to promote the culture of peace and forgiveness hoping that our neighbours will continue to allow us to do our business.
“But the issue of arms and light weapons is a security one. I believe they (security agencies) are on top of it. With the arrests they are making, we must acknowledge the efforts security agencies have put in trying to contain criminality in this country.
“That is why people calling for the removal of service chiefs are either the corrupt politicians or the ones working for them. We should not fall for that gambit.”
Making its perception known regarding how corruption has been a step backwards in ensuring peace between farmers and pastoralists at an event organized by the Citizen Communication and Advocacy centre, with caption : “Understanding Democracy As Instrument of Development, Integration and National Cohesion; the Secretary-General of the association Malam Alhassan said the National Assembly was laden with corruption accusing legislators of not taking sufficient steps to address the farmers herders crises
Alhassan said the association did not believe in the call for the sacking of the service chiefs, noting that the association usually shared “critical intelligence” with the agencies.
He said, “The spate of insecurity in this country is worrisome to anybody that loves this country and I think our security agencies should be up and doing. They should be able to identify the perpetrators and their sponsors and then ensure that justice is meted out to them. We must watch closely our politicians, their utterances and their body language because some of them are the ones promoting violence we are having in this country.
Al-Hassan also rejected suggestions that herdsmen from other countries should be prevented from grazing their cattle in Nigeria.
He said the ECOWAS “free trade protocol guarantees free movement,” adding that herdsmen do not recognise international boundaries which he described as “colonial creations.”
Al-Hassan added, “You cannot just opt out of a protocol that is integrating the African continent. The pastoralist movement is not for picnics. They go there to access to land resources. Also, these boundaries that you have are colonial boundaries.
“Some of them (boundaries) don’t mean anything to the herders. So, what we need to do is to domesticate the ECOWAS protocol, begin to enforce it and then we create grazing reserves for trans-human pastoralists.”
He said the solution remains ranching which must be partly funded by the government and supported by all Nigerians.
Al-Hassan lamented that every attempt by the Buhari government to establish ranches had been rejected by selfish politicians.
He said, “Policies aimed at solving these problems are strongly resisted. Attempts were made to put up a commission for grazing reserves to see how it can be done but it was shut down at the National Assembly. The minister of agriculture has been trying all his efforts to see that solutions are brought to the table but people read political motive to it and killed the policies.
“Today, we have a national livestock development plan that is well articulated but the same people saying we should ranch our cows are now saying they will not accept ranches so what are we talking about? So, we must understand the socio-political undercurrents.”
He lambasted Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State for initiating the anti-grazing law, adding that most of the arrests by security agencies showed it was Ortom’s men that were carrying out the killings.