A non-governmental Organisation, Advocacy for Advancement of Peace & Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI) has described the activities and utterances of members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) as a serious threat to National Security, calling for urgent action to avert imminent danger.
The statement was made on Monday through the Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Olaniyi Owolabi while speaking on the recent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Owolabi said the recent killings of farmers in the North Central, and gruesome murder of villagers in Kaduna State portend serious threat to National Security, and a recipe to internal uprising.
He recalled the Ekiti saga, where Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders Association of Nigeria issued a threat of imminent attack on Ekiti people over the alleged killings of cows in the state and ban on open rearing of cows through Grazing Reserve Act.
He noted that the continued massacre of innocent Nigerians in the hands of herdsmen was unacceptable and barbaric, saying such act must stop quickly for the purpose of national cohesion.
According to him, “there is limit to what people can take in their stride when it comes to brutal oppression and calculated elimination, communities in the Southern Kaduna and elsewhere where people were being killed in hundreds are potential theatres of war, if something is not done very fast.
The Peace Advocate averred that the organisation had concluded a comprehensive research on the mode and pattern of attacks by the herdsmen, including their source of armament, and discovered shocking revelations that seriously pose a threat to national security.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly mobilise various security agencies in the country to check the activities of Fulani herdsmen and invariably avert possible internal uprising of “unimaginable magnitude”.
In his words, ”the covert reality of the incessant clashes between cattle rearers and farmers anywhere in Nigeria is ” a wrapped infringement” of people’s rights with impunity.
“By our mandate and objectives, we are statutorily a whistle blower on issues that pose threat to peace and National Security, and our voice should be compulsorily louder in the face of dicey security challenges in Nigeria, and Africa at large.
” The bloodbaths in various communities of Nigeria as a result of rifts between cattle rearers and farmers compelled us to embark on painstaking research and methodological findings on the burning issue of continuous clashes over grazing territories between herdsmen and farmers.
“Our findings convincingly revealed that the style of grazing by cattle rearers adversely affect the farmers economically and infringes on their rights of ownership without remorse, which make them to confront cattle rearers most of the times in which the Fulani herdsmen responded with violence.
“We authoritatively gathered that the Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has a Standing Army of Occupation who they call upon anytime there is hostility between them and their host communities.
“Also, the association, as a matter of policy make it compulsory for its members to contribute annually to a funding pool for the purpose of procuring armament, through some syndicates in different security agencies and powerful Nigerians who are cattle owners or sympathisers.
“The concentration of this Fulani Standing Army of Occupation (FSAO) on the plateau makes attacks in States like Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Enugu and Kaduna to be callously brutal.
“On many occasions, FSAO supplies sophisticated weapons to brave nomads for preliminary attacks where they encounter confrontation from frustrated farmers, and mobility for the FSAO proves difficult because of distance.
“Sincerely, this is a serious threat to our indivisibility and corporate entity, the president as a matter of exigency should direct security agencies in the country to wade in and professionally investigate the veracity of these findings without fair or favour to save our dear country from impeding danger,” Owolabi resorted.