The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore herdsmen group has called on the Nigerian government to heed the widespread demand for the restructuring of the country to allow the Fulani go their way.
The National Secretary of the group, Saleh Alhassan, said this in an interview with Punch, on Saturday, adding that the herdsmen were being marginalised in the country and that it was best if they were on their own where they would be protected.
There have been calls for the restructuring of the country, with many southern groups insisting that it was the only way the country could move forward, while northern groups have largely been divided on the issue.
Alhassan however stated that it was wrong to punish a group of people for the sins of some.
He said, “We don’t support crime. So, I’m not saying there are no Fulani that are criminals, there are, like other tribes, but don’t destroy their profession. It’s not good for the country. If everything bursts, it’s to the advantage of the herders because we are not even enjoying the federation.
“We are even bidding for restructuring of the country; let every part go, so we can say this is where we are. As it is now, there is no form of marginalisation we are not seeing in this country. Everywhere, we are being marginalised. You think we will accept Nigeria where we don’t have access to land to feed our animals and you think there will be peace?”
When asked if he thinks restructuring would solve the herders/farmers crisis, he said, “Quite fundamentally. If we leave today now and if there is no oil revenue, won’t they pay attention to animal rearing? If we restructure the country and the South-West region says they won’t accept cattle unless they are brought to the market or supermarket, it’s okay by us.
“The mistake people make is that they think when they put pressure on herders, they are getting at President (Muhammadu) Buhari. Buhari has no relationship with the herders. That is the truth. When people say he is our grand patron, was (former President) Goodluck Jonathan from the South-South not our grand patron?”