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We have nowhere to go as South East people love us – Miyetti Allah



The umbrella body of Fulani herders in Nigeria, Miyetti Allah in Southeast and Southsouth geopolitical zones said on Sunday that they have nowhere to go and would not leave anytime soon.

The body was reacting to the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) which advised Fulani cattle rearers who felt threatened to return to the Northern region of the country.

NEF’s statement was issued by the Director of Media and Publicity, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed on Friday, advising herdsmen to return over threats of eviction against them by some governors.

But the Chairman of Cattle breeders Association in the South East zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki said they are loved by Igbo people, hence, they have nowhere to go and would continue to do their business.

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This is notwithstanding the complaints from two States in the zone, he said, the people are hospitable to them, while he advised his members to be tolerant and law abiding.

He said, “In Ebonyi and Abia states, some of our people said they were going back to the North because of the challenges they were facing.

“But generally, they want to stay here and do their business. So if you see them going to the North, it’s not like they want to go to the North, but because they are having challenges. These are trying times.”

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Saddiki explained that his members have developed relationships with the hosts, saying they use to pay compensation each time cattle destroyed crops on a farm.

He said, “It’s not only in the South that there is a crisis. We have to tolerate and overcome any challenge that we face. We have a very cordial relationship with the people and leaders of the South-East. They are very hospitable because they provide a conducive environment for us to do our trade.

“Anywhere a farm is destroyed, leaders of Miyetti Allah and the community leaders will go and assess the damage, and the farmer will be paid adequate compensation on the farm that was destroyed.

“And if a cow is killed or stolen, the owner of the cow is paid the value of his cow. The south-easterners are very hospitable and we are generally comfortable doing our business here.”

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The Sarkin Hausa and Vice-President General of the Akwa Ibom State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Hassan Sadauki, said such decisions might create more frictions.

“This will definitely create more frictions. To me, it’s not the best,” he said, however, adding that any herder feeling unsafe in a particular area should relocate to stay alive.


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