Former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University and the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi, in a chat with Vanguardngr, waded into the controversy sparked by attacks and killings carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
According to Prof Ango Abdullahi, Fulani herdsmen killing are as a result of the injustice meted to them.
“Herdsmen have been denied the traditional routes which the British created for them in 1914 because they realised that, like cars require tracks, herdsmen also require tracks they can use to graze and drink water. .
The British provided it for them and gazetted it but people have denied them these routes. So, where do you expect the animals to follow? They have to follow somewhere. We are all living in Nigeria.”
When asked whether he was trying to justify the menace of herdsmen, he said:
“I am justifying it very strongly because herdsmen are being unjustly treated in this country.”
When told that herdsmen are businessmen just like the farmers and should invest in their business by buying ranches like the farmers bought their parcels of land, he said: “If an Igbo man could go to my state and set up a shop, why shouldn’t herdsmen operate elsewhere? .
Or are you the one who planted the grass the animals are feeding on? Are you the one who created the water they drink? The land belongs to Nigerians and herdsmen are Nigerians. If an Igbo man can go to the North and set up a business, why won’t herdsmen go to the South, including your village, to graze their cattle?”
When reminded that the Igbo man rents a shop and pays for it. He also pays tax, he said: “Where we come from, you don’t pay for land, you only ask for permission to use it.
That is why I said you people are biased against other people and that is why the peace of this country will be very difficult. You only see Nigeria in your own picture, not in the picture of other people. .
Then, of course, there is a problem, there are other people who also have pictures and are interested in the only thing you want to protect. That means you have a lot of work to do ahead of you.”