Chairman of the Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, in the South East zone, Alhaji Giddado Sadiq, in this interview speaks on how the proposed Fulani Vigilante will work in communities of the South-East, noting also that ranching is almost impossible in the zone because of limited land space.
The proposal is that wherever you chose to live, you have to make sacrifices and do what will bring peace in the area. If you read the newspapers you will see so much criticisms on the Fulani herdsmen, the Fulani in general or the northern extraction here in the South-East and so we have to do whatever is within our reach to redeem this name. There is no race that does not have criminals among them. It is not good to say that everybody from the race is a criminal. That is why we want to come out to work with the people that we know.
The Fulani herdsmen here in the South-East or any other place are looking for greener pastures to raise their cattle. They are not here to bring about violence or to make troubles. So that is why we want to redeem the name and for people to see us as peace loving people. This vigilante we are talking about, we did not say that they are going to work on their own but they will be under the supervision of their host or under the supervision of the Fulani.
How will the Fulani vigilante work with their hosts when they leave in the bush?
Most of the clashes we are having between farmers and herders are about the destruction of crops or killing of cattle. If we have a task force or vigilante from our own Fulani side, whenever a report is made to me as a leader, like in a recent report made to me at Uzo-Uwani, which I assigned four boys to go and assess that destruction, value the destruction and make sure that the owners of the cattle pay compensation to the farmer. This thing cannot be done with only Fulani, at least the host will be there, the governor’s aide will be there with the Fulani, they will go and assess, after assessing they will know the Fulani that is responsible for that destruction. This is how they can work. Whenever there is a report of anything, these people will go. If the person responsible is from our side, they will know.
Does it mean that the Fulani vigilante boys will join the community vigilante to work together?
That is what I mean.