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The umbrella body for herdsmen in Nigeria, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, has warned critics to stop calling them terrorists because they have not breached any section of Nigeria’s constitution. Speaking with VINCENT KALU, spokesman of the breeders association, Ismaila Ibrahim Ribeji, said unlike the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that was proscribed and declared a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government for trying to create a separate country from Nigeria, which was a constitutional breach, the herdsmen have not done anything to warrant branding them terrorists.
In an interview with Gen. Momah, a retired military officer and former principal staff officer to President Buhari, said the Fulani herdsmen are terrorists and they deserve to be treated as such. How do you react to that?
The Fulani herdsmen are not terrorists and should not be declared as such. Some people are camouflaging the Fulani to commit atrocities. Security personnel have arrested people in Fulani attire committing havoc. This happened in Taraba and other states, where security men arrested people putting on Fulani outfits to attack communities, but people would attribute them to Fulani.
There are some nomads, who are very good and concentrating on what they are doing, and they are not committing any offence. Those who are clamouring for the declaration of Fulani herdsmen as terrorists are not fair; the herdsmen are not terrorists. Not all the herdsmen are committing atrocities, in every tribe or organisation, there are bad eggs and there are good people.
It is not fair to the Fulani if herdsmen are declared terrorists. Nigeria has a constitution, and there is no way the cattle rearers are doing anything contrary to the constitution or committing crimes like Boko Haram and other international organisations.
Fulani herdsmen in terms of western education are not measuring up, but they are not creating any problem that should warrant branding them terrorists.
I’m not saying that some Fulani herdsmen are not involved in the killings going on in some states, but as stated earlier, in every tribe, there are bad people. It is not only in Fulani that you have some bad people, they abound in every tribe. Every tribe in Nigeria has some good people as well as some bad people. Majority of the herdsmen are very good and law abiding.
I don’t know why Buhari declared IPOB terrorist, but I want everybody to understand that herdsmen are not terrorists. It is not all of them that are committing crime. I’m not blind to say that some of the herdsmen are not involved in the killings, just like other tribes are also involved in the killings.
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