The National Secretary of the group, Mr Alhassan Saleh, stated these during an interview with Sunday PUNCH while reacting to the eviction notices issued to criminal herdsmen in the South-West.
Saleh said it was wrong to drive herders out of any part of Nigeria and that even if there were criminals among them, it was the function of the government’s security forces to identify and arrest them.
He said the eviction of herdsmen from the southern region of the country was a dangerous precedent and that the best way to solve the herders-farmers crisis was for state governments to provide ranches and grazing routes for the herders and their animals.
citing their rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution to live wherever they desire, Miyetti Allah said it would never tolerate any act of injustice on herders.
“Nobody has the right (to evict herdsmen). If you say you are going to evict us, we will resist eviction. We have been surviving in harsh environments. If we do not resist, we will be wiped out of the planet. If you kill a herder, don’t go and sleep, we will revisit you, and it’s not because we hate your tribe. People attack herders, and in one way or the other, herders have found a way to retaliate,” Alhassan said.
“All those who travelled to the Benin Republic and others are coming back home. All those saying they will bar foreign herders from entering Nigeria are just playing to the gallery because if they are aware of the ECOWAS Protocols, they would know they cannot chase them away. That is why the position of the Bauchi State Governor is the true position. You have no right to evict anybody from any part of the country.
“Our number has increased recently because of the tension in Ghana and Benin Republics. The ones in Benin Republic have integrated with the Yoruba in such a way that they speak the language. They were initially living in the South-West, and they are coming back.
“They expected a reaction from us, maybe by way of attacking other ethnic nationalities. But that is wrong because the herders they are attacking are the innocent herders. Are the criminals representing anybody? They are doing their criminal enterprise. Our own pain is that the people who are supposed to know are pretending as if they don’t know.”
KanyiDaily had reported that there have been ethnic tensions across the country, especially in the South-West, which many have attributed to criminal Fulani herdsmen.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu had recently issued a seven-day ultimatum to Fulani herders, to quit the state forest reserve over the rising cases of insecurity in the state.
A Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, also issued an ultimatum to Fulanis to leave Oyo state or face severe consequences.