Fulani herders are worse under President Buhari, herdsmen group Miyetti Allah has said.
The National Secretary of the group, Saleh Alhassan, said that herdsmen were being marginalised in the country under the leadership of President Buhari and that it was best if they were on their own where they would be protected.
Alhassan’s comments came after the Ondo State Government gave a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to leave Ondo forests, accusing some herders of perpetrating the killings of farmers, raping of women and banditry in the state.
But Alhassan said that it was wrong to link herders to President Buhari saying herders have been more marginalised under his administration.
“We don’t support crime,” Alhassan told Punch.
“So, I’m not saying there are no Fulani that is criminals, there are, like other tribes, but don’t destroy their profession. It’s not good for the country.
“If everything busts, it’s to the advantage of the herders because we are not even enjoying the federation.
“We are even bidding for the restructuring of the country; let every part go, so we can say this is where we are.
“As it is now, there is no form of marginalisation we are not seeing in this country. Everywhere we are being marginalised. You think we will accept Nigeria where we don’t have access to land to feed our animals and you think there will be peace?
“If we leave today now and if there is no oil revenue, won’t they pay attention to animal rearing? If we restructure the country and the South-West region says they won’t accept cattle unless they are brought to the market or supermarket, it’s okay by us.
“The mistake people make is that they think when they put pressure on herders they are getting at President Buhari.
“Buhari has no relationship with the herders. That is the truth. When people say he is our grand patron, was Jonathan from the South-South not our grand patron?
“If the president is a Fulani, it doesn’t in any way affect the life of a herder. In fact, they are worse off under Buhari.
“What are they benefitting? They don’t access any government facility or social amenity, yet they are responsible for the bulk of animal protein we produce in this country. I think it’s deliberate for people to think otherwise.
“Buhari has not done anything for us other than creating enemies for us.
“Herders are being chased around. Let us look at the larger picture and not allow enemies to penetrate us.
“If Buhari loves the herders, he would have created the grazing reserves for them,” he said.