Association of Fulani cattle breeders, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has accused the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB of attacking Fulani herdsmen in the Southeast region of the country and killing their cattle, vowing to drag the secessionist group to court.
Addressing journalists after an emergency meeting of the herders in Abuja on Monday, Secretary-General of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Engr. Saleh Hassan, also challenged states to account for the money given to them to provide ranches for herdsmen.
He said the group will institute legal actions against some of the states, especially Benue, who have failed in protecting Fulani herdsmen.
Hassan said; “The latest attacks that prompted this emergency press conference just happened yesterday (Sunday) and we have alerted our members, our leadership in the Southeast to take stock of the number of cattle killed and possible lives lost.
“The truck that was set ablaze is all over the social media and we saw a full load of cattle. A truck takes about 30 Cows. This is aside isolated cases of killings of herders going on, particularly in southeastern Nigeria by the terrorist group led by the detained Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB which portends a grave danger, because we will not fold our arms to continue to watch an outlawed organization killing our people in the Southeast. That is why we are calling on the security agencies to urgently take action to arrest the situation because we don’t want people to take laws into their hands.
“The latest attacks were carried out by IPOB because if you watch the videos which I will share with members of the press in case you don’t have it, they were speaking Igbo, they were proclaiming that their organization was behind it. They want to make sure they chase out every Fulani man in the Southeast, destroy their cattle. So it is not debatable.
“Then on the issue of our members being part of the insecurity in the North, let me state it without any doubt. Our members are not part of the bandits. Please take it for the records. We are a herders organization. If you are a bandit, you don’t have herds of cows. You are a bandit who should be treated as a bandit.
“But our headers who share the same geographical location because of their economic activities in the villages, in the bushes, in the forests, they are the first victims of these bandits. They have been suffering without anybody reporting it, without any restitution coming to them. So, we are not part of the bandits. We don’t know them. We don’t belong to them. We don’t support them in any way and we are in active collaboration with the government to deal with the bandits because they are destroying our economy.
“We will take legal actions against those perpetrating acts of violence against our people. We will also take action against the ineptitude of the government of the day for allowing all this injustice and atrocities to be meted out on our people.
“On the issue of the official rustling of our cattle in Benue we are already taking the stock, and we are going to sue the Benue state government to pay compensation for all those stolen cattle officially, in the name of arresting cattle across the borders of Benue and Taraba state, Benue and Nasarawa state. Because as far as we are concerned, there is no cattle herding in Benue since Ortom put in his law. So if we see herds of cattle in the middle of Benue being auctioned, we know it is official stealing and it is part of the economic war against our people”, he added.