The National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, has declared that all lands in Nigeria belongs to the Fulani, adding that nobody can chase herdsmen away from any forest in any state.
Bodejo stated this in an interview with The Sun, while reacting to the 7-day ultimatum given to Fulani herdsmen in Ondo forests by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
KanyiDaily recalls that Governor Akeredolu had given herdsmen seven days ultimatum to vacate all forest reserves due to the high rate of criminality in the state.
Hoever, Bodejo said Akeredolu doesn’t have any right to give such ultimatum to Fulani, adding that herdsmen have been in the forests for over 250 years, even before the governor was born.
He said the herders do not need anybody’s permission to use a forest for grazing so far as it provides the nutrients needed by their cattle.
Bodejo said the herders will not obey Akeredolu because his directive is against Nigeria’s constitution, adding that Miyettia Allah have concluded plans to drag the governor to court over the eviction notice.
“The Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, doesn’t have any right to give such ultimatum to our people. People, including Fulani, voted for him to be the governor; so he should be the governor of everybody in the state,” he said.
“Fulani have been in the forests he is talking about even before he was born; they have been there for over 250 years. After staying there for a long time and their cow dung turns the place fertile, people would begin to come there to farm and to settle and from then, they begin to make claims that our cattle were destroying their farms.
“We are suing the governor and seeking injunction restraining him and others from carrying out his threat. But even at that, nobody, no power can send the herdsmen out of Ondo state.
“No herdsman will obey the governor. The herdsmen will not step an inch out of Ondo forests; they are going nowhere. We won’t obey the governor; it is only the constitution of Nigeria that we obey.
“All the lands in this country belong to the Fulani, but we don’t have any business to do with land if it doesn’t have areas for grazing. If the land doesn’t have cow food, we won’t have any business with it.
“What we consider are the areas that have cow food. If the place is good for grazing, we don’t need anybody’s permission to go there.
“Fulani can settle in any bush or forest they want the moment they have cows. Any person who thinks he owns any forest should be taken to psychiatric hospital. Nobody owns any forest; forests are for Nigerians.”
The Miyetti Allah leader added that his group was also against the herdsmen kidnapping and robbing people while also operating from forests.
“We are not in support of any form of criminality — armed robbery, kidnapping, gun running, etc. These crimes are the reasons why we have the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, and even the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps to nab perpetrators. And there are courts everywhere to try them and if found guilty, appropriate punishments should be meted out to them.
“I have just concluded a meeting with my fellow Fulani and we have found out that some people will adorn Fulani attire to carry out various crimes.
“How can a Fulani man living in the forest kidnap and ask people to pay ransoms ranging from N5 million to N10 million? What will he be doing with that kind of money inside the forest? If you pay herdsmen N20 million, N10 million, N5 million in the forest, where will he carry the money to and what will he be doing with such money?” he added.
Bodejo said Governor Akeredolu just needed an excuse to drive out the Fulanis from the state since the criminals are not from the ethnic group.
KanyiDaily recalls that a Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has accused Buhari’s government of protecting only Fulani interests against other tribes in Nigeria.