Professor Adebanji Akintoye, former Director Institute of African Studies has cautioned Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to desist from threatening to overrun other ethnic nationalities Nigeria.
Akintoye was speaking Tuesday at a seminar organised by Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER) with theme, ‘Engaging the Media and Community Based Organisations for Post Election Reconciliation and Conflict Prevention’ held in Lagos.
He warned that such threats will only lead to national conflagration as no ethnic nationality in the country will sit and watch cattle herders take over their ancestral lands.
He said, “Fulani leaders must call off the killings by cattle herders. They cannot sit by and pretend that they don’t know what is happening. You must stop these people threatening to conquer other tribes. No ethnic group in Nigeria has monopoly of violence. There is fear in the south that the massive numbers of another coming to the south are an advance attack force and the implication is that people are ready to defend themselves because they fear that the Federal Government cannot protect them. It is not good that today everybody is talking about the Fulani as the enemy of all.”
Akintoye urged the Federal Government to step up and tackle the mass killing of people often attributed to Fulani cattle herders.
He said the attitude of the Federal Government to the killing seem to give the impression that they are being used to drive a political agenda.
He further said, “The cattle herders involved in these killings are not like the cattle herders we knew as kids who are friendly. Today, we see cattle herders from the desert and they carry sophisticated weapons. The way the Federal Government treats the killings by these herders makes it look as if they are being used to advance some political aims.”
He said all ethnic nationalities resident in Lagos have a duty to preserve the peace and tranquility in the state.
“The substratum of peace in Lagos is that the city has a long history of hospitality. The various ethnic nationalities have lived peacefully together for ages. The peace and security we enjoy in Lagos should reflect on the entire country. Unfortunately, what is happening is that the insecurity in the northern parts of the country is gradually sliding into the South West” he said.
Earlier, Executive Director JODER, Adewale Adeoye said the seminar aims at training stakeholders in Lagos on conflict prevention
He said, “our observation is that conflict did not just grow in one day. It takes time to fester. When the conflict is not addressed, it takes different shapes and different forms, each beginning to assume lives of its own.”
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