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Stop Defending Killer Herdsmen, Akeredolu Tells Miyetti Allah

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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has asked the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) to stop defending the criminal activities of killer herdsmen.

Recall that Akeredolu had in January directed all Fulani herdsmen occupying the Ondo State forest reserves to vacate and register with the state government.

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Monday, Akeredolu advised MACBAN to work with the governors of the South West in flush­ing killer herders out of the region instead of taking sides with them.

Akeredolu noted most of the kidnap victims who have been debriefed after their rescue said their kidnappers speak a common language which is Fulfulde.

The governor also blames security agencies for allowing foreign criminals easy access into the country, saying secu­rity agencies must do their utmost in fishing them out.

He said, “My duty does not include profiling those who come into the country. But all I know very clearly is that those who are perpetrat­ing these crimes speak the same language. They have a common language with some of our people who are here in this country.

“So, that is where our prob­lem lies. Whether they are for­eigners or they are from here, it is a matter for our security to go into fully and be able to identify them.

“But what we have when we debriefed those who have been kidnapped is that the language they hear is what matters to them, not whether they have come from Mali or Niger. Most of these criminal elements were speaking Ful­fulde, there is no need to run away from it.

“Whether we like it or not, let us agree with ourselves that this is a common lan­guage that is spoken across the length and breadth, par­ticularly in West Africa and parts of North Africa. So, if they come, how did they come here?

“But one of our major problem is that when we have an issue of this nature and a group, the Miyetti Allah, do not have to owe themselves out to defend these people. If they are not your members and you do not agree with what they are doing, there is no need to defend them. Let us treat them strictly as what they are –criminals and get them out. And you yourselves should support us in getting them out. That is where we are“.

Speaking further, Ak­eredolu also berated Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State for justifying the usage of arms by Fulani herdsmen.

Akeredolu, who said Bala Mohammed did not act as a statesman, added that his statement is capable of fur­ther igniting the crisis as others too may want to carry arms as a means of self-de­fence.

Certainly, Bala Moham­med has not spoken as a statesman. He probably lost out as to what his reaction should be. How will a gov­ernor in this country today come out and say people should be allowed to carry arms when it is illegal?

“And not just mere arms, he said they should go about with AK-47 when even carry­ing some double-barreled gun is illegal. So, people are not li­censed to carry guns but Bala Mohammed is suggesting to us that they should be able to carry them. For what purpose?

“Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. Any statesman or governor should not speak that way. You ask herdsmen to carry guns to protect themselves, so I should also ask my peo­ple to carry guns to protect themselves.

“If that happens, it is go­ing to be very serious and nobody will be spared. So, statements like that should be condemned and I condemn it,” he said.

Source: Naija News

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.