Posted by Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos | 12 January 2020 | 1,560 times
As the South-West security outfit takes off, herdsmen and cattle rearers in the region have cautioned against deploying the outfit, codenamed “Amotekun”, as a tool for persecuting the Fulani.
A Fulani cultural group, Jamu Nati Fulbe Association, said while the initiative is a welcome development, it should not be targeted at the Fulani in the region.
President of the association, Alhaji Abdulkadir Salihu, who is also the Serikin Fulani of Oyo State, told our correspondent that the Amotekun should not be a platform to persecute Fulani herdsmen in the region.
Already, the herders and farmers have been at loggerheads for years with both groups suffering casualties. Recently, the Oyo State House of Assembly passed an anti-open grazing Bill which the herders have challenged in court.
Salihu said Amotekun should operate professionally to fight crimes justly and fairly without making the herders the sole target. “Yes, there are criminals everywhere and you cannot say all the Fulani herders are criminals. This is an initiative which, if well managed, would help in the security of the region.
“We are not against any initiative aimed at protecting the lives and property of residents and settlers in the South-West. We support it but, like I said, a particular ethnic group should not be the target of this.
He said the Fulani in the region were unaware of the operational modalities of the security outfit as they were not carried along despite being an integral community in the region.
“I am convinced that if the officers of Amotekun do their job the way it should be done, the security of the region would improve.
“Since the initiative was launched, we have had our misgivings and doubts about the sincerity of the whole project. Our fear is that, are we not going to suffer persecution unjustly in the hands of Amotekun officers,” he said. (Daily Trust)
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