The Miyetti Allah has accused some communities of depriving herdsmen their indigenous rights, saying this has contributed to the crisis surrounding herdsmen and farmers across the country.
Speaking with TheCable, Mohammadu Nura, chairman of Miyetti Allah, Plateau State chapter, said contrary to speculations that the herdsmen are attacking residents, the herders are usually on the receiving end.
In the case of Plateau, for instance, he said some portions of the lands in contention were inherited by the Fulani herdsmen who are indigenes of the state.
According to him, “the Fulani villagers were ransacked by the Biroms (the locals). In Kuru Janta, they killed over 150 persons. This was in 2010. In Heipang, 83 persons were killed including the chief imam of Heipang. .
In Sabongida Kanan, 78 persons; in Kim Kim, 28 persons; in Waram, 19 persons. So many of the Fulani villages were ransacked, and now they have occupied the lands, claiming they are their own lands, whereas they are customary lands belonging to the herdsmen.
Those that are not in Plateau think that Fulanis are not indigenes of Plateau. Fulanis were one of the people who originated from Plateau state. Depriving Fulanis of their rights will never help us in Nigeria. It will never help peace in this country.”
He also denied reports that the villagers in Plateau were attacked by the herders, saying those killed in the crisis were herdsmen and not villagers as is being reported.
He said: “We had a privileged information before that Saturday that people will block roads and search for Fulanis. So we informed our people that they should be alert and nobody should use those roads. .
Unfortunately, on that very day, at 6am, they started blocking roads and were holding sophisticated weapons and shouting that they must kill a Fulani man.
They went into the bush and started killing Fulanis and their cows. That is the genesis of the crisis. And I said this thing before the vice-president and the community leaders. Nobody disputed the fact.”