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Our welfare worse under Buhari, says Miyetti Allah

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Oba Darasimi

The umbrella body of herdsmen in Nigeria, Miyetti Allah, has debunked insinuations President Muhammadu Buhari is protecting them, insisting that their welfare has become worse since the President came to power.

Not a few Nigerians will agree with Miyetti Allah’s submission but the group’s  National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan, said instead of enjoying under his watch, herdsmen were being marginalised in the country under the leadership of President Buhari.

The issue of herders is occupying the front burner in the polity after the Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Yoruba freedom fighter Sunday Igboho gave the herdsmen the marching order.

The herders have been accused of perptrating killing, destruction of properties and kidnapping in the South-west region

But, Alhassan said that it was wrong to link herders to President Buhari saying herders have been more marginalised under the administration of President Buhari.

He said, “We don’t support crime. So, I’m not saying there are no Fulani that is a criminal, 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?”

On whether restructuring would solve the herders/farmers crisis, he said, “Quite fundamentally. 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.

He insisted that “The mistake people make is that they think when they put pressure on herders they are getting at President (Muhammadu) Buhari. Buhari has no relationship with the herders. That is the truth. When people say he is our grandpatron, was Jonathan from the South-South, not our grandpatron?

“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 have  access to 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. He maintained that “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,” Miyetti Allah told Sunday Punch.

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