By Vincent Kalu
Following the arrest of 37 herdsmen and 5,000 cows by Amotekun Corps in Ondo State, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo has warned the security outfit and those that created it or behind it not to dare the Fulani.
The Ondo state security outfit had arrested the herdsmen over their failure to register with the state government or vacate the state’s forest reserves. They were arrested in government forest reserves located at Ala, Oda and Ofosu areas of the state.
Recall that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had issued a seven-day quit notice to the herdsmen in the government forest reserves across the state following increase in crime especially kidnap for ransom traced to the forests.
Reacting to the arrests announced Thursday by the state’s Amotekun Corps, Bodejo, said, he has heard it and noted that it was illegal. He said: “I have heard that. These people are looking for trouble; you cannot intimidate the Fulani. What these people are doing is not legal. We have law in this country, which permits Nigerians to live in any part of the country.
“They should know that they are dealing with the whole Fulani, not only the Fulani in that area. They don’t have right to evict our people from that place; they are just killing and intimidating innocent Fulani. They shouldn’t dare the Fulani.”
“With this latest development, we are taking legal action. However, if anything happens to those arrested and their cows killed, they will know that their action was not good; they should know that Fulani are everywhere. They are saying Fulani are the kidnappers, why not the Amotekun enter the bush or forest and arrest the kidnappers?
“Some desperate politicians created this Amotekun corps and they cannot succeed. Before oil was discovered in this country, it was cattle rearing and farming that Nigerians relied on, and the North was on top of this. We are not backward; the first Nigerian leader after independence was a Fulani man and we have contributed so much to build this country”, he fumed.
Commenting on the position of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the Senior Special Assistant on Security to the Ondo State governor, Jimoh Dojumo said, “nobody was provoking the Fulani, what we are advising is to caution their people, the herdsmen to live within the confines of the law here. They cannot be raping us, they cannot be killing our people, they cannot be kidnapping our people and demanding ransom from our people and they want us to be quiet.
“We all live in Nigeria, can anybody go to Kano or any part of the North and start doing all these atrocities they are doing here. That is what we are saying and there is an order in place that needs to be enforced. What we are saying has an alternative, which is come and register, we want to know you; we want to know people who are occupying our forests. That is what we are saying. All this their talking of war, is out of it; we are not for war. Ours is peaceful approach to everything.”
On the claims by Miyetti Allah that the Constitution guarantees freedom for every citizen to move and live in any part of the country without harassment by anybody, Dojumo said it is very correct, but pointed out that the constitution also spells out that, “ you are to live peacefully with your host community; you are to live within the consent of law; you don’t have to go and become a criminal, kidnapping people, murdering people, robbing people. I don’t think that the constitution is interpreted that way.”
On what is to going to be done to the arrested men and the cows, the governor’s security aide said investigation is still going on.