Lagos—The Association of Fulani Chiefs of South West Nigeria and Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has frowned at the recent kidnap of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
However, the groups also opposed the call for a ban on cattle rearers by Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, saying it is in violation of 1999 Constitution which protects free movement of people and livestock.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the chairman, Association of South West Fulani Chiefs, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Bambado who is the Sarkin Fulanin Lagos said; “Much as we, as a group condemn in its entirety, the criminal act of kidnapping of anybody or individual for ransom, there is need for us to be cautious in taking rash decisions and making unwarranted statements that could cause socio-cultural or socio-political disorder in our country at this very critical period.’’
Afenifere had warned all Fulani herdsmen to stay away from Yorubaland henceforth or face dire consequences.
A communique issued by Yinka Odumakin accused the Fulani herdsmen, who allegedly abducted Chief Falae of being on vengeance mission.
The communique read by Odumakin said “We demand that nomadic cattle rearing should be stopped in every state of Yoruba land. We believe now that after what has happened to Chief Falae, people would not tolerate such thing in any part of Yoruba land. So, while we await the arrest of the criminals, cattle rearing should stop in Yoruba land.”
While faulting the banning of cattle rearers in the South West, the Fulani leader said; “Such calls banning of cattle rearing or movement in Southwest Nigeria is not in the best interest of anybody be it Yoruba, Fulani or any tribe whatsoever and as such, we must be seen to be equal partners in the Nigerian project.”
In addition, he lamented the activities of Fulani herdsmen, who engage in the wanton destruction of farmlands across the country characterised by the movement of cattle across the length and breadth of Nigeria, saying; “We are working round the clock to look for ways to resolve the issues for good.”
He, however, appealed to Afenifere leaders ‘’to co-operate and work with us so that we can have a lasting solution to the perennial clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria. Nomadic grazing and cattle rearing is a prominent and permanent socio-cultural and socio-economic means of survival of a Fulani man. To stop this cultural trait and means of survival of centuries old is like bringing the Fulani clan into extinction.’’