By Umar Salam.
The umbrella body for Fulani herdsmen, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has warned that herdsmen have the right to move across the federation and will not leave any part of the country for whatsoever reason.
The group threatened to hold state governors responsible for the safety of its members, while urging the herders to defend themselves against any ethnic attack in a manner that nobody would try such again.
Miyetti Allah, in a statement issued today by its National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan, blamed bandits for the incessant killings in the country while exonerating herdsmen.
The statement 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 have been saying it that people behind insecurity are not herders; bandits are behind these killings, and if the government is saying foreigners have infiltrated the herders, have they been arrested and what is their nationality? Anybody that is trying to destabilise this country should be dealt with.”
Miyetti Allah criticized the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) for urging herdsmen to vacate the South as their security could not be guaranteed.
The group also threatened to come after the CNG if any herder is killed because of their call.
“Those so-called northern youths called coalition of northern groups should note that if because of their action any herder is killed, we will first look for them before we go after our enemies”, Miyetti Allah warned.