The national president of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural organization, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, has disclosed that desperate politicians were the brains behind ethno-religious crises in the country.
Bodejo who made the accusation during the national Fulbe conference, hosted by his organization in Yola on Monday, particularly accused the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom of hiding under the garb of politics to wage war and hatred against Fulani ethnic nationalities living in Benue State.
” Nigeria is facing serious challenges from desperate politicians. In some states in South-south and South-west, Fulani’s and their cows are being killed on daily basis but in those states you only hear shouts of Fulani Kidnappers,
” Enough is enough. We are asking other ethnic nationalities to henceforth stop the carnage against Fulani ethnic nationalities.
” I’m calling on northern governors to bring back our grazing reserves. They should not behave like governor of Benue State. The governor of Benue state has carried anti-grazing law and hatred against Fulani as a state policy.
” He has politicize a social crisis which by virtue of his position as a leader, should have used wisdom to resolve,” Bodejo said.
The president advised other governors especially the northern governors not to toe what he termed the “odious” path their colleague in Benue State has taken just as he called on Ortom to undue his anti-grazing law saying that it is discriminatory against the Fulani people.
” I will advise good governors not to toe the path of Ortom. I want to call on Ortom to ban his anti-grazing law and bring back peace to the state because it is discriminatory and not good for Fulani people.
” We want our grazing reserves not Ortom anti-grazing law. Ortom obviously came up with anti-grazing law to send Fulani packing from Benue state forgetting that Tiv and Fulani are together.
” In two years from now, Ortom will be addressed as former governor and Fulani will continue their busines activities with good Tiv people,” he said.
In his paper presentation, the guest speaker, Captain Adamu Ahmed Chiroma (retd) said, there is need for harmony between the herder and the farmer as both of them compliment each other.
He noted that herders and farmers are so interrelated and interdependent to the extent that one cannot exist without the other calling for the enthronement of a sound conflict resolution mechanism to forestall any further crisis between the two groups as he said it is not in the interest of the national economy.
” The role of farmers and herders is so strategic and so critical to economic growth and contributing to food security, creation of wealth and serve as foreign exchange earner for the economy.
” For Nigeria to have sustainable development, farmers and herders must come together in the course of discharging their traditional duties. They should stop seeing themselves as enemies,” he said.
Chiroma noted that the crisis between the two groups has brought untold hardship, food insecurity, poverty, inflation, destruction of means of livelihood and political instability calling on authorities to do everything possible to stop the derailment.
He noted that poor implementation of policies, cattle rustling, lack of political will are some of the factors fueling the crisis which always come at a high cost to both the government and the governed.
In his remarks, chairman of the occasion who is the vice president of American University of Nigeria Yola, Professor Abba Tahir, noted that herders/farmers conflict is generally misconstrued by Nigerians and given an ethnic coloration.
He noted that for Nigeria to grow beyond such crisis, crime should be attached to the individuals who perpetrated them not the ethnic group they belong to.
He noted that despite the fact that one of Nigeria’s most notorious armed robbers in history, Lawrence Anenih has caused serious mayhem, the media did not associate his ethic group with robbery.
” Anenih has caused mayhem in this country but no media has attached any ethnic coloration to his activities. No media said he was a Benin robber.
” It is important for Nigerians to divest ethnic coloration or cultural coloration to anything that relates to crime,” he said.
He urged the people to stop beating the drums of war or secession over the social insecurity bedevilling Nigeria urging the people to instead adopt constitutional means of resolving such issues, adding that Nigeria is governed by law and order which should come handy whenever a crime is committed.
He also called on the authorities to ensure that criminals are brought to book as such is the surest way of stopping crime and criminality in the country.