Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 13 January 2018 | 1,517 times
Fulani herdsmen under the platform of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria have declared that former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is not its member, warning Nigerians, especially politicians to desist from politicising the herdsmen/farmers’ conflicts.
South East leader of the association, Alhaji Gidado Saddikie, who gave the warning on Thursday, expressed the view that the issue should be addressed sincerely without attaching sentiments, politics or religion.
Saddikie, who spoke in Awka, Anambra State capital, on the heels of the allegation by the Chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum, Paul Unongo that Atiku was the chief financier and most influential member of the association, said that politicising the issue would not solve the problem.
Atiku has denied the allegation and went ahead to slam a N200 billion law suit against Unongo.
He cited what he described as wrong government approach and lack of sensitisation as the major causes of herdsmen/farmers' conflict in most communities.
Saddikie said: “People play politics with this issue. Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a Fulani, but he is not a member of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
“He has not attended our meeting before. So how can he be a financier of the association?
“Let me tell you, it's wrong government approach and negligence that are causing these conflicts. How can somebody say Atiku is our financier?
“Most state governments think that herdsmen and farmers are commoners that should not be heard. You must hear them because they are human beings who are contributing to the economic growth of our country, at their own level.”
Furthermore, he commended South East Governors for fashioning out means to handle herdsmen/farmers conflicts, maintaining that there is understanding and synergy in the South East on how to handle the issue as the governors in the region and other leaders are proactive.
Continuing, he said: “We have agreed that any herdsman that destroys the crops of farmers should pay for such, and if any farmer kills any herdsman’s cow, he pays for the cow. We understand ourselves here in the South East, but in some other places, it’s not so.”
Sadikkie stressed that herders in the zone have been told to avoid placing their cows above any human life. “If they kill your cow, report to us. We’ll know how to handle it amicably. Don’t take the laws into your hands.”
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