• CAN urges group to expose killers in their midst
The Zamfara State Police Commissioner, Usman Nagogo, has a given two-week ultimatum to Miyetti Allah to end banditry in the state or face the wrath of the laws.
This is coming as the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, yesterday asked the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACABAN) to protect the image of President Muhammadu Buhari by exposing the killer-herdsmen in the country.
Addressing leaders of Miyetti Allah during a reconciliation meeting held at J.B Yakubu secretariat Gusau, the state capital, yesterday, the commissioner said the state has had enough of banditry, and called on the Fulani bandits to embrace peace and surrender their weapons.
The commissioner asked the Fulani leaders to call their people to order and stop all forms of banditry and other criminal activities or face the full wrath of the law.
He blamed the Fulani leaders for all atrocities being committed by the bandits, as according to him, they have not taken enough measures to call their subjects to order despite the reconciliation accord signed by both the Fulani and the farmers in the state.
The commissioner maintained that the volunteer groups have since surrendered more than 9,000 weapons in a bid to embrace peace, lamenting that, the Fulani cattle rearers were yet to do so.
Reacting to the commissioner’s speech, the Sarkin Fulani Zamfara, (leader of the Fulani), Alhaji Ahmed Mutawalle said, “Fulani are peace loving people”.
The Sarkin Fulani said Fulani herdsmen were subjected to all forms of intimidations and harassment by farmers who have continued to encroach and cultivate grazing lands and cattle routes meant for the herdsmen.
According to Sarkin Fulani, the refusal of the farmers to vacate grazing lands was one of the factors that contributed to the current insecurity problems, stressing that, “This was the beginning of farmers-Fulani clash, which led to reprisal attacks and finally metamorphosed into armed banditry”.
He stated however that, armed banditry could only be effectively controlled if the state government waded in and forced farmers to move out of grazing lands and allow herders to move freely with their cattle in the grazing areas.
The Sarkin Fulani also used the opportunity to announce the dissolution of leaders of MACABAN and banned the association’s activities until further notice.
Meanwhile, the CAN President, Ayokunle, has asked the leadership of MACABAN to protect the image of President Buhari by exposing the killer- herdsmen in the country.
Ayokunle gave the counsel in Abuja yesterday while hosting a MACBAN delegation led by its National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngadzarna and Alhaji Sidia Metankari, who came to congratulate him on his re-election and to seek a date for dialogue with the leadership of CAN on the ongoing security challenges in the country.
The Christian leader said CAN was not against the president, noting that all the association demanded was for the government to be responsive to the yearnings of Nigerians.
He attributed the challenges facing the country to a lack of good leadership, adding that good governance would change the negative narratives in the country.
Ayokunle noted, “The leadership of CAN is not attacking President Muhammadu Buhari on religious grounds. All we are asking the government is to be more responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people of Nigeria irrespective of their faith, ethnic background, and political leanings.
“Good governance will surely change the current disturbing narratives. There is no reason why the criminals amidst us should not be brought to book. Now that you have said it is not all herdsmen that belong to MACBAN, then your association should stop justifying the atrocities being perpetrated by those criminals.”
The Christian leader observed that criminal herdsmen were giving Buhari a bad name, adding that as the president’s kinsmen, the only way the Miyetti Allah could support the Presidency was by exposing the killers among them.
He added, “The criminal herdsmen are giving the president a bad name and the only way this can be stopped is by exposing those criminals that are carrying guns around, maiming and killing innocent people.
“President Buhari is Fulani like you and the best thing you can do for him is by exposing those criminals. This will make Nigerians not to reject another Fulani man who may want to rule.”
He cited a few instances where the MACBAN failed to condemn criminal herdsmen who killed their victims, stressing that the wave of anger against the herdsmen by Nigerians resulted from their criminal activities.
“Most of those who are angry with the Fulani herdsmen do not just hate them but they have been victims of attacks by suspected criminal herders,” the cleric stated.
The CAN President while commending MACBAN for the initiative promised to work with the leadership of the association in the quest for peace and stability of the country.