3,500 of our kinsmen in detention – Fulani group

Written by on July 22, 2019

An umbrella organisation of the Fulani tribe in the country, Gan Allah-Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, has said not all Fulani herdsmen are criminals as being portrayed across the country.

The National Chairman of the group, Saleh Bayeri, stated this in an interview with journalists in Kaduna on Sunday.

He claimed that herdsmen were unjustly persecuted and urged relevant authorities to charge the 3,500 Fulani herdsmen allegedly in detention to court.

He said, “I am aware there are over 3,500 Fulani herdsmen or natives in detention in various security posts. I sincerely believe that something fundamentally is wrong with the system.

“I can recall vividly the issue of armed robbery in Nigeria which was entirely an issue in the southern part.

“Some people were picked as individuals committing crimes. Criminal activities in Nigeria were never an ethnic, religious or regional issue.”

He added, “Unfortunately, because of the advent of ethnic and religious hatred against us (Fulani) because we belong to a large ethnic group in Nigeria, we have been painted black and seen by many people as criminal.

“Most Fulani peoples are innocently arrested and tortured almost to the point of death and money extorted from them to regain their freedom even when proven innocent. That is why today a Fulani man has become like an ATM.”

Meanwhile, there was confusion on Sunday among the leaders of Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria over the directive by the Northern Elders Forum and the Coalition of Northern Groups.

NEF and the CNG had last week directed Fulani herdsmen in the South to return home if their lives were not guaranteed.

But the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and the National Secretary of GAFDAN, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, kicked against the order.

They said NEF led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, and the CNG would be held responsible for whatever happened to herders in the South.

But on Sunday, the leadership of GAFDAN led by Saleh Bayari said the Secretary-General acted unilaterally in its attack on NEF and CNG.

A statement signed by the chairman read in part, “The National Chairman of the Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, wishes to dissociate the association from the unauthorised, unilateral and embarrassing statement by the National Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi, where he condemned the respected chairman of the Northern Elders Forum for advising the Fulani herdsmen in the southern part of the country to consider returning to the North where their safety would be guaranteed if indeed it was not secure in the South.

“To set the records straight, the secretary who had no mandate or authorisation to take such a position without clarification from the association’s national chairman went ahead to speak on such a burning national issue without clearance.

“I want to state categorically that the GAFDAN was not only fully briefed about the matter, it was fully involved in all the deliberations of NEF and its final decision and position on the issue.”

He added, “We are happy to note that from the day NEF made that statement, which was followed by Mr President’s declaration that all Nigerians had the right to move and settle freely in any part of the country and be protected by the security agencies, we have witnessed the downturn and cessation of hostilities in some communities of the South.

“To us, this is a way forward and we thank the President for taking this timely response and reassurance. We also welcome the response from our compatriot associations from the South that have been calling for peace and dialogue with NEF.”

Meanwhile, the CNG on Sunday, berated MACBAN for saying that NEF and CNG would be held responsible for whatever that happened to herdsmen in the south.

The CNGs spokesman, Abdul’Azeez Suleiman, while reacting to MACBAN, noted that the group had been fragmented.

He accused the group of fraternising with politicians, thereby losing the core value with which the organisation was established.



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