Herdsmen Wreaking Havoc in Nigeria are Foreigners, Baraje insists

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By Hammed Shittu

Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has said that the Fulani herdsmen wreaking havocs across the country are not Nigerians.

Baraje’s position was contrary to what was credited to him in an interview he granted during his 70th birthday celebration in Ilorin, recently.

The PDP chieftain who spoke yesterday with journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, stated that his belief stemmed from the fact that Nigerian Fulanis have been living in communities around the country without problems.

Baraje added that with the way they have acculturated into the various communities they could not be responsible for this level of criminality.

He said, “I know some mischievous elements who probably have political points to score have been spreading false versions of my statements to the journalists during the chat I had on my 70th birthday.

“All these false claims would not change my original position that the government and our security agencies must investigate the infiltration of our country by foreign criminal elements who masquerade as Fulani herders.

“The Fulanis involved in criminal activities are not Nigerians. The Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria do not carry guns. They only have machete used to clear the bush as they progress with their cows and a stick to direct the animals.

“Those who carry arms are mere criminals who exploited the porosity of our borders and came in without cattle.

“To disguise their intention, they first began with cattle rustling in the North-West to acquire cows and assume the status of herdsmen. This went on for some time in the North. It is now that they spread their nefarious activities to the South that the awareness and condemnation became very prominent and loud.

“This is all I told the journalists and this remains my analysis of the situation. I believe it is my contribution to the conversation on how we can solve this security crisis. “We must interrogate all the points I and many others have raised because security matter concerns all of us. We must not play politics with it

“I have decided to reinstate this position so as not to leave anybody in doubt as to what I said during the chat with the media. Just as I cautioned that we should not play politics with security, the mischief makers, using a section of the media to spread falsehood about my position should stop,”Baraje said