By Peter Duru & Dirisu Yakubu
Makurdi—Bothered by the statement credited to National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Garus Gololo, ordering the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to step down or be forced out of office, Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the MACBAN leadership to order.
From Middle: The National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) flanked by the National Secretary, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, and other members of the association at a press briefing on the position of the association to stem farmers-herdsmen clashes in Abuja on Sunday.
The forum also urged security agencies to invite the source of the threat for questioning to assuage the fears of Nigerians.
In a statement on behalf of the forum, in Makurdi, yesterday, entitled: “Miyetti Allah’s unchecked threats: A dangerous precedence for our democracy,” the MBF Coordinator of Public Communication, Ndi Kato, regretted that the statement originated from a state like Benue that heavily bore the brunt of herdsmen killings.
The statement read: “As a result of these targeted attacks on Benue and most states in the Middle Belt, our region is knee deep in a mismanaged humanitarian crisis spanning several states.
“This threat by the leadership of Miyetti Allah is not only insulting, it is inciting and we believe issued with the intention to heat up the polity.
“The Middle Belt Forum has observed the consistency with which leaders of Miyetti Allah expend inciting statements on national issues well beyond their reach and we are at the juncture where we must stand firm and insist enough is enough, Miyetti Allah must be called to order.
“Nigerians cannot understand the root of this audacity by Miyetti Allah to pour fuel on national issues from the heavy loss of human lives in several parts of our nation to sensitive political issues.
“Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki is not only the Senate President but the highest office holder in the Middle Belt.
“A threat to his office by non-political actors is a threat to democracy; a threat to his person is a threat to the leadership of our region.
“The entire Middle Belt is currently grappling for stability in the midst of chaos, land grabbing and mass killings.
“We call on well-meaning Nigerians to rebuke such statements and the intentions behind them as these are direct threats to our democracy.
“We call on our national security agencies to, in the interest of national peace and stability, invite Alhaji Garus Gololo for questioning.
“Finally, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put his foot down against such rhetoric in the interest of our nation.”
PDP BoT chair condemns call
Meanwhile, chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Walid Jubrin, yesterday, condemned the call by Gololo on Saraki.
In a chat with journalists in Abuja, Jibrin challenged the association to openly condemn the statement so that it will not be misconstrued as the general position of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
While noting that Fulani associations were up to 25 in number, the PDP chieftain said when people talk of Miyetti Allah, it should not be misconstrued as the generality of all Fulani people in the country.
“I will try my best to see that I bring them together, so that they will not shy away from their responsibility of defending the course of the entire Fulani people. That is to say that they should never engineer crisis, they should only safeguard the interest of the entire Fulani by not being agents of attack.
“We, the Fulani concerned elders, are now trying to bring all these Fulani associations together, so that we can talk with one voice.”
He further explained the role he played in addressing herdsmen attacks in Taraba State and how he was planning a similar one in Benue to particularly meet with Governor Samuel Ortom, the leadership of Tiv Fulani communities to resolve the perennial clashes between them.
He said: “Like I earlier did, I went to Taraba State to meet with the governor, the leaders and Fulani elders and the meeting is yielding results. I intend to go to Benue to meet the governor, the leadership of Tiv people and the Fulani people to look at the pros and cons of the issues of Fulani herdsmen.
This (crisis) can only be solved by dialogue and mediation. We should not be tired of discussing these issues so that the matter will die down and everybody will appreciate the other.”
“We as Fulani will educate our people to understand the Nigeria problem, the problem of rearing animals and most importantly, to educate our Fulani children so that when they are educated, most of these problems will reduce.”