Founder and president of Yoruba youth group, the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW), has said the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government, has no political will to bring an end to the criminality being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
This, he said, is at the heart of the problem.
Hassan who spoke in a chat with our correspondent, noted that while the suggestion by Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, that herders should relocate from South to North, has been hailed as commendable, it does not tackle the challenge.
“The problem of herdsmen has become hydra-headed. So it’s not easy to tackle it from one angle. Hydra-headed problem also requires hydra-headed solution,” he said.
“Ganduje’s proposal of bringing back all the Fulani herders to the North, will not stop the terrorism inherent in their attitude. It will not also bring back those that they have killed while carrying out their criminal activities.”
The youth leader said the key challenge is the lack of commitment on the part of the government.
According to him, there have been instances where calls came from Abuja demanding release of herders arrested for carrying out criminal activities.
“The key issue here is that there is no government commitment. The problem is institutional. If the Police were allowed to do their job properly, they alone can tackle the criminal elements amongst the herdsmen,” he said.
“But what we hear is that a criminal herdsman would be arrested and in the next two minutes, a call will come from Abuja and he will be released. That is impunity on the part of the government. When it comes to the issue of dealing with criminal herdsmen, you find out that the rule of law does not apply. All you get is government making excuses for them, and that is where the problem lies.”
Hassan, however, warned that going forward, more people may be inclined to take laws into their own hands, as the situation cannot be tolerated for long.
“But for how long are we going to accept this situation. Look at the Southwest at the moment, what we are facing now is beyond herders and farmers clashes. What we are facing is an invasion,” he said.
“They idea that it is farmers/herders clashes is to paint a different picture from what is actually going on. The fact of the matter is that these people are terrorists who were brought into the country by some interest groups from the North prior to 2015 general election. These people they brought from Mali, Sudan and other places to cause mayhem in case they lost election, have refused to leave.
“Yes, there was insecurity before 2015, but it was not as bad as as this. And for us in the Southwest, we knew the Fulani we were living with at the time.
“More and more are also coming in, and you find out that these are people who are coming into the country illegally. They don’t have visas, they just walk into the country as they please. We are not serious in this country. Look at even the national Identity number that they are doing. Even if a thousand Fulani walk into the country today, they can register.
“The government of the day promotes this impunity. The first step towards tackling the problem will be for there to be the political will to do so. The issue of state police for example is a no-brainer.
“Botswana today is one of the leading countries in cattle grazing in Africa. The cows there are well fed, unlike the type that we have here. So how did they managed to do it? They just applied common Sense and had ranches.
“Cattle breeding is a profitable business. The owners of the cattle should be able to acquire land and ranch their cattle. You can go to Badagry for example, buy land and use it as a ranch. Then, the ranch will be regulated so that the place does not become a terrorist zone.”