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We are ready to defend ourselves, Miyetti Allah reacts

Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Miyetti Allah, has asked its members to defend themselves against any ethnic militia group in the country.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

/ by Joe Adams
Miyetti Allah 
Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Miyetti Allah, has asked its members to defend themselves against any ethnic militia group in the country.

The National Secretary of the group, Saleh Alhassan, in a chat with Punch on Thursday, said that governors in the southern part of the country would be held responsible if any of their members was attacked.

The South - East Governors Forum, through its Director - General, Prof Simon Ortuanya, had recently warned that movement of cattle into the zone by foot would no longer be allowed except through trucks to specific cow markets to avoid the incessant clashes between herders and farmers.



But, speaking on Thursday, Alhassan said herdsmen would remain where they were and that governors of the respective states would be held responsible should anything happen to their members.

He said , “We are Nigerians and we have a history. Anybody that thinks he can wake up and take on the Fulani pastoralist is making a grievous mistake; we are well prepared to defend our fundamental human rights of movement in this country.

“They (herdsmen) are Nigerians, so they are entitled to stay where they are. They should remain where they are and defend themselves against ethnic militia and assert their citizenship in this country.



“The only thing we would say is that we will hold all the governors of those states responsible for their safety and security, but if any ethnic militia, by any name, attacks our members , they should defend themselves in a manner that nobody would try such again.

“We are Nigerians and we are not going anywhere. Our attachment to the land is opportunistic; we don’t farm the land. So, if anybody is thinking that because he has cultivated the land in a particular place for long and he has rights there more than us, then we would ask where is the grazing area that the colonial masters created for us?


“Politicians can play their politics but they should leave our people out of it because it is the desperate politicians that are causing this confusion and they are looking for anything to hang on to, but we are watching them critically.

“If you threaten the herders, they react ; they cannot be used for any political game because we have our way of defending ourselves . We hate injustice and we fight it. Anybody that thinks we can be squeezed is making a mistake.”
Asked the solution to the persistent clashes between herders and their host communities, he said grazing reserves that were carved out before the country ’s independence should be developed to serve their purposes.



“When we begin to discuss the Nigeria question, we would ask where the grazing reserves are because we know them and we have the records of where they are ” he added.

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