Re: Gun-Wielding Herdsmen Not Nigerians Says Sultan of Sokoto

Re: Gun-Wielding Herdsmen Not Nigerians Says Sultan of Sokoto

By Oduche Azih

Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III
Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III

We have long reconciled ourselves with the rare public comments from the only official spokesperson of the Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association that we know of. I am referring to our President, Muhammadu Buhari, who, in the high profile position as a Patron, has so far successfully shielded the Association and its vast army of employees, the herdsmen, from the public outcry and strong arm response expected from our no-nonsense security agencies.

All entreaties that Buhari should distance himself from that association had fallen on deaf ears. However, it seems as if Buhari now has some competition. The revered Sultan of Sokoto has robustly stepped into the fray, claiming centre stage. This is not his first outing.

We finally have it on good authority that the gun-wielding cattle herdsmen, the serial perpetrators of so much mayhem in our polity, have after all been SHOWN to be foreigners. That implies that a good many have been apprehended, making it possible to identify them and hence come to the above inescapable conclusion. The problem remains that the concerned public do not have any record about such arrests.

It is really tragic to recall that a lily-livered minister, Audu Ogbeh, had glibly announced to the nation that “Fulani” herdsmen (armed or not), from all over the Sahel north and west of Nigeria, have an inalienable right to roam anywhere in Nigeria with their foreign herds. He reminded us that the ECOWAS protocol on freedom of movement of goods and persons mandated that freedom.

This is really funny coming from a minister of a country (Nigeria) where the freedom of movement of its own citizens as well as freedom of residence and ownership of property is yet to be guaranteed.

It is strange that “herdsmen from Chad, Niger Republic or Burkina Faso” should have more rights than I do in my own country and lawfully possess AK-47 assault rifles with which to enforce such rights.

‎Oduche Azih,

Lagos

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