Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Former Governor of Plateau State and senator representing Plateau North zone in the National Assembly, Jonah David Jang, has urged the federal government to be courageous enough to send killer Fulani herdsmen out of Nigeria, adding that â€œeach country must be ready to accommodate its herdsmen without using ECOWAS free movement to start throwing their own problems to our country. That is unacceptable!â€
Jang, who noted this during an interview with journalists in Jos yesterday, expressed worries over the unabated killings in Plateau and other states across Nigeria, especially in the middle belt.
He said: â€œGovernment has to take some drastic actions. These people are not Nigerians; they are coming from somewhere. I am now over 70 years, and I didnâ€™t see these kinds of Fulani herdsmen when I was growing up. The Nigerian herdsmen I used to know carried sticks to control their cows, not sophisticated guns, killing people at will.
â€œSo I believe that these people are not really herdsmen; they are coming to accomplish a purpose; which is to try to occupy lands. And unfortunately, the present administration doesnâ€™t seem to be up and doing about it, and it gives me a lot of suspicion.â€
He sadded: â€œWe used to have a way of settling our differences with the Fulani men that lived amongst us in the past without even going to court. But these ones that are carrying guns and killing people should never be allowed to be part of Nigeria. They should be sent back to where they came from.â€
He noted that somebody must be complicit in bring the Fulani into the country, and must have directed them into certain target states. â€œYou will agree with me that the geopolitical areas that they are now operating are not even border areas. Somebody must have been giving them access from the border into the hinterlands. And when they are even arrested, these same people ensure that they disappear into thin air.â€
On cattle colonies, he said, â€œwe were colonised by the British in the past, we cannot be colonised by herdsmen again. Cattle rearing is a type of farming, and must not be given such priority over other farmers; the herders should be made to buy lands for ranches for their cattle, and not government providing it for them.â€
On the call for him to contest Presidency in 2019, Jang said, â€œI am in politics to serve Nigeria. I have done it in the military, and I am now doing it as a civilian. If Nigerians really feel that even this me, I am worthy of their confidence, and they believe I can do it, and I pray and hear from my maker that this is also his purpose for my life, who am I to go against God or against my people?â€
On poor development in Plateau since the outset of Governor Simon Lalongâ€™s administration, Jang said, â€œSince I left office, Lalong has never contacted me. Let me say it today, that when Lalong was declared winner of the 2015 governorship election, I wrote him a letter, as the then governor, personally signed by me, inviting him to the Government House for me to brief him in preparation to handing over, but he did not even respond to it.
â€œAt least by age, I am older than Lalong, and I am his immediate predecessor. I would have expected that Lalong should even come to my house, out of respect for my age, to even greet me. But he has never thought of doing that. Will I carry myself to him and start forcing myself on him?
â€œI know people who have spoken to him, that he should try and link up with me. And I was ready to even help him and guide him on the way I developed Plateau State, he would not do so. â€œItâ€™s a sick man that needs a doctor. If he is well, he doesnâ€™t need a doctor. Fair enough.