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Clear yourselves of complicity, ex-police officer tells Miyetti Allah

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Members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, protesting against Anti-Grazing Bill in Taraba State…yesterday. PHOTO: CHARLES AKPEJI


A security expert and retired Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), James Vandefan, has asked the leadership of Miyetti Allah to exonerate itself of the bloodletting in parts of the federation by fishing out the bad eggs in its midst.

The aspirant for the Benue North-East senatorial seat in next year’s general elections told The Guardian in an interview in Makurdi that the Fulani were known as a peaceful race, regretting that the activities of the herdsmen nationwide was blemishing the antecedent.The retired senior police officer said Nigerians and the international communities were beginning to view the ethnic nationality as a violent one.

His words: “The Fulani should look at the action of the herdsmen because it is having damaging effects on the generation yet unborn and these will not be a healthy situation for the race. People are beginning to see them as a threat wherever they are and this is having a damaging effect on the entire ethnic group.“We are saying these are foreign Fulani but why do we give them room to infiltrate into our fatherland and kill our people and still let them stay without being prosecuted.

“Miyetti Allah should understand that there is a thin line between nationalism and patriotism. If you are patriotic to your tribe, you must make sure that you didn’t kill the ideal of nationalism, because patriotism should not stop at the level of assisting one another.”

Vandefan backed the state’s Anti-Open Grazing Law enacted, saying it was one of the best things that have happened to Nigeria. He noted that that it was only the misinformed that reads the piece of legislation otherwise.

He said herdsmen undertaking open grazing were perpetually subjecting under-age children to dehumanising child labour by making them trek long distances for pasture for the herds, adding that the kids were equally denied education in the process. 

“Now you are taking a small child who will be trekking from Kano in the name of grazing, and you deprive them of education.Vandefan continued: “The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is also supposed to come in and arrest these children who are under-age and the guardians or parents who send them to graze cows.

“They should be arrested because they are subjecting these children to labour and depriving them of acquiring formal education.“What is essence of sending cows to bush from morning to evening yet they still look very thin and unhealthy. The best thing is to embrace ranching.”


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