-Says they are disguised terrorists
-insist genuine members carry only cutlass for self defense
-rejects cattle colonies in preference for ranches
-demands improved welfare, education and security from govts
A cross section of Fulani Herdsmen located in several local govt areas of Niger state including those at Zungeru, Beji,Bida Sabo Angwa in Boso LGA ,Tunga malam in Paiko, Angwa umadi village in Shiroro Local government areas, have denied herdsmen who were wielding AK-47 riffles saying they bore other motives other than cattle rearing ,calling on govts are all levels to immediately arrest and trial such people when sighted and caught
Alhaji Ahmadu Dami, sarkin Fulani at Beji town who spoke on behalf of the herdsmen, told Daily Times Newspaper in an exclusive interview that genuine herdsmen carry only machetes for self defense especially against dangerous animals and snakes, not for attacking anybody.
He urged the federal government to further investigate the background of these herdsmen and their sponsors.
He further suggested that those carrying guns could be sponsored by Boko Haram terrorists and escapees who were on revenge mission. According to him, Nigerians should rather than casting aspersions and promoting ethnic bigotry should devote their energy on getting to the roots and finding solution to the present national predicament
On the proposal by the federal government to establish cattle colonies, the Fulani leader maintained their preference for cattle ranches instead, as that will give them direct control over their investments rather than colonies that ensures wider arrangement that may distance their involvement
He said’ ’government should build ranches for us, provide security, hospital and modern facilities to confine us in a decent location, they should also build schools and housing for us’’
Speaking on behalf of farmers, Mr Gideon, a Gbagi and a popular farmer in Boso local government, commended the efforts of security agencies for the prevailing peace in the area since July last year, and advised government to assist farmer by providing farming equipment, fertilizer and improved security for farms
Daily Times recall that violence between Fulani herdsmen and farmers has remained one of Nigeria’s most persistent security problems and has left thousands of people dead in recent decades.
The clashes are often said to have been driven by a range of factors from environmental to political even though at the core is the problem of land scarcity, Climate changes and the desertification of Nigeria’s North which often forces the nomadic cattle herdsmen farther south to feed and sell their cattle, thereby encroaching on the territory of sedentary farmers.
From Augustine Okezie, from tour of Niger state