The National Chairman of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, Sali Bayari, has said that Fulani herdsmen in the country carry arms in self defense and to also “have balance of terror.”
Bayari also lamented that herdsmen and farmers crisis escalated because security chiefs and government failed to pay attention to it.
Bayari stated this on Saturday at a meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his residence in Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The meeting, which was called by the former president to find a lasting solution to the current state of insecurity in the country, had the spokesman of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin and representatives of Fulani groups from the 36 states of the federation.
The GAFDAN chairman also stressed the need for the government and Nigerians to come together to find solution to the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes.
He said: “The issue has gone beyond herdsmen/farmers crisis; it has led to kidnapping and banditry and if we are not careful, it may lead to a kind of jihadist/ militant group and that is what we fear.
“We wrote several letters to the authorities even to the security chiefs, but we don’t get any response.
“There are times we begin to wonder whether the security chiefs are more interested in the crisis than in peace.
“We also discovered that there are some people who don’t want peace in this country. We think they have various reasons or a particular interest that is making them not to want peace to reign in the country.
“If all your efforts toward achieving peace would be destroyed by those who are supposed to give you peace, then you begin to look for another means and that is what led to people (herdsmen) arming themselves to have balance of terror.”
Commending the former president for facilitating the meeting to deliberate on how to tackle the security challenges, Bayari said: “If we had another father like Obsanjo in all the regions, maybe we will not be in this mess. What has brought us into this sorry state is the fact that when a problem starts, the leaders are not always concerned until it gets to the level of self-help.
“The problem we have in this country is that our leaders do not read and therefore not informed and that is why Obasanjo is different. He has made efforts more than those in government.”
In his response, Obasanjo urged everybody to be involved in the fight against insecurity, adding that Nigerians must stop the blame game and come together to fight the menace of kidnapping, banditry, among other social vices currently threatening the country’s unity.
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