RUGA Update; Northern Leaders Still Insist On Herdsmen Returning To The North If They Are Unsafe In The South

Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, (NEF) Professor Ango Abdullahi, who initially announced that Fulani herdsmen who are rearing cattle in the South should return to the North, if they feel unsafe and unprotected, had insisted that he would not retract his statement, even though there have been calls on him to renounce his statement.

Professor Abdullahi remade his call when Senator Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna Central, paid him a courtesy visit at his residence in Kaduna. Sani tried to convince Abdullahi to rescind his statement, saying it may create crisis.  

Sani said, “The nation of ours has passed through a series of crises, it is imperative that we speak with precaution. I appeal as your son that such recommendation or position was taken by you for such demands should be rescinded in the interest of peace and progress of this country and so that normalcy returns to Nigeria and miscreants won’t see this as a reason to exploit this for their personal agenda,

However, Abdullahi replied “they (southerners) don’t want to see cattle on hooves, but they want to see cattle in lorries being taken to their market to buy. I was only advising the herdsmen to return if there is no protection for them. Everything in Nigeria is politicized. In addition to politics religion has filtered in. And now every headache you have in your house have now been caused by herdsmen. The insecurity of this country at every nook and crannies is now caused by the herdsmen. This is clearly political.”

Abdullahi also criticized the Nigerian government, “when the initial crisis started, largely from the non-grazing law established in Benue, we draw the attention of Northern Elders Forum member who was Paul Unongo to it, that his state is about establishing a grazing law. We appealed to him to tell the Benue government to withhold the law until we make professional inputs. By the time we finish our gathering our findings, Benue has already started implementation and crises erupted there. At some point when things were really getting out of hand, the vice president called Lamido of Adamawa, king of Kano among others and I to see the vice president. His appeal was on how to stop the menace as the Fulanis were also fighting back. But if they are protected, they should remain. It was when I said this that this useless government woke up from sleep to say that everybody is free to stay wherever they are. They knew for weeks that this statement has been coming from the south and they didn’t react.

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