Miyetti Allah dares Yoruba as armed herdsmen set up vigilante group, checkpoint in Ondo
Some armed members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria have set up a vigilante group in Ondo State, mounting checkpoints along the highway.
The General Secretary of Forward Buhari, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja on Monday.
Ajulo said he was travelling to Ondo State with armed policemen on Sunday when he sighted the armed herdsmen with their cattle.
The former National Secretary of the Labour Party said when he accosted the herdsmen, they claimed they were doing it with the permission of the Nigeria Police Force.
He said, “I was in my state yesterday (Sunday) when I saw Fulani herdsmen under the auspices of Miyetti Allah tagged themselves as Vigilante Group of Ondo State in this country, in the South-West. They were all over and nobody is stopping them. I was with some armed security men and so we stopped them. We were even trying to call the DPO and the police to ask if they were aware of their presence.”
When asked to explain his better, Ajulo repeated, “I was in Ondo State around 4pm yesterday and we saw Fulani herdsmen with cattle, guns and cutlasses and they showed me their ID cards that they are vigilantes and they are the ones securing the highway.
“I took pictures of their ID cards and I questioned them and they said the police were aware of what they were doing.”
Ajulo, who is a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, said he had always been of the opinion that the herdsmen/farmer crisis should not be given an ethnic colouration but his recent experience had altered his stance.
He noted that most security guards in the South-West were persons of northern extraction but said his recent encounter was enough to put fear in the minds of Yoruba people.
Ajulo added, “The South-East is saying they don’t want Fulani herdsmen in their land but they are now in Yorubaland. This is real. Mind you, we are not castigating anybody. I lived in Lagos and in Ibadan and our security guards were usually northerners and we don’t have any problem with them.
“But when things start happening, people will need to talk. The question is what are they doing there? Where are the police? They have abandoned the roads for these people (herdsmen) and you don’t expect people to talk?”
He said there was a need to take urgent action to prevent bloodshed in the country.
An identity card of one of the armed herdsmen which was posted by Ajulo on social media indicated that they were members of MACBAN and they belonged to the Ikare Akoko branch of the association.
The logo of the vigilante group has two guns while the code was MACBAN/NHQ/MSC.
The Forward Buhari convener, however, admitted that the herdsmen did not act violently towards his entourage as they willingly allowed him to take their pictures and photos of their ID cards.
“They looked very bold but they allowed me to take pictures of their ID cards,” he said.
When contacted, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Baba Usman, told one of our correspondents, “I don’t know anything about that. I just heard this from you now. The security agencies should go after them; I don’t know anything about that one.”
Usman also said that the ID card on one of the herdsmen does not belong to his group.
The development comes barely a week after Mrs. Funke Olakunri, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti, was killed along the highway in Ondo State by suspected herdsmen.
The Federal Government, as well as the ruling All Progressives Congress have, however, denied reports that herdsmen were behind the murder. (Punch )
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