CATTLE herdsmen’s body the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association has pledged to work with the Ooni of Ife Oba Eniitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Alaafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Adeyemi to flush out criminal elements within their midst.
Over the last year or so, armed Fulani herdsmen have held Nigeria to ransom, engaging in indiscriminate kidnapping, murder, rape and wanton violence. Across the southwest geo-political zone, they have opened forest camps where they take their victims to and kill them if large ransom fees are not paid.
Of late, the rise in the instances of kidnapping has forced politicians and traditional rulers across the southwest to react to the menace. Apart from the governors of the six southwestern States holding security meetings, traditional rulers have also met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, asking for urgent action to address the crisis.
Aware of the fact that the problems affects all Fulanis living in the southwest, the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association has agreed to work with the monarchs and the security agencies to expose the bad eggs among them. Alhaji Sale Bayari, the national president of the association, said that there are 300 clans within the Fulani and it would be unfair to judge all of them based on the activities of criminally-minded few.
Alhaji Bayari said: “We support the position of the Ooni of Ife 100% and we are ready to fish out the bad eggs and criminal elements amongst us. When we met with the Alaafin, he told us that 14 herdsmen were already in detention for various offenses, so this has shown the commitment of both parties to bring a lasting solution to the issue of kidnapping, banditry and farmers/herders clashes.”
He pleaded with the Oyo State House of Assembly members who are about proposing anti-grazing laws to ensure Fulani men are represented so as to give them fair hearing. According to Alhaji Bayari, if there is adequate security measures in place, people will not resort to defending themselves.
“Just like the Yoruba ethnic groups have different divisions, the Fulanis have different clans. There are over 300 Fulani clans and we talk about the Fulanis in general because we don’t want to give special recognition to a clan be it positive or negative.
“We know the Bororo clans and they know us also. We have various levels in which we address these issues and be rest assured that we will get to the root of these problems,” Alhaji Bayari added.