•CAN tasks DSS, Police on action, says Nigeria belongs to all
•Group following Sardauna’s footsteps – Mbazulike Amaechi
•Ohanaeze youths warn against encroachment on Igbo land
•Miyetti Allah out to destroy Nigeria —S/Middle Belt leaders
•Miyetti Allah advocating anarchy — Junaid
•I didn’t say Nigeria belongs to Fulani – Miyetti Allah leader
By Anayo Okoli, Dapo Akinrefon, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Bashir Bello & Ibrahim Wuyo
OUTRAGE, yesterday, greeted the statement credited to National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, that the Fulani own Nigeria and will continue to rule the country.
Bodejo was also quoted to have said that herdsmen do not need any permission to enter any community as they are the owners of land anywhere across the nation, and that the Fulani would float a 100,000-man vigilante to be deployed across the country.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN; Southern/Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF; Ohanaeze youths; the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB; First Republic politician, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi; and Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, were among those who flayed the comments, they’re capable of imploding the country.
The angry reactions came as Bodejo made a U-turn and said that he never claimed that Nigeria belonged to the Fulani.
The Christian Association of Nigeria in the Northern states and Abuja warned that the statement was divisive and capable of tearing the nation apart.
Vice-Chairman of CAN, 19 Northern States and FCT, Rev John Joseph Hayab, said in a statement in Kaduna, yesterday, said Nigeria does not belong to any ethnic group, section or religion but to all Nigerians.
He said the newspaper story credited to the National President of one of the groups of Miyetti Allah who was quoted to have said that ‘Nigeria belongs to Fulani and would rule forever’ confirmed and identified those who do not wish Nigeria to live in peace and unity.
“Our stance is that no well-meaning individual should use the name of an association or platform like Miyetti Allah to make such serious, divisive statements as these.
“The truth is that Nigeria does not belong to any ethnic group, section or religion but to every one of us. Making such false claims as that of Miyetti Allah’s President only create tension and fuels crisis,” he said.
CAN therefore, called on the Federal Government through the D-G, DSS and Inspector-General of Police to have a session with the ethnic superiority champion to “school him on the diversity of Nigeria and the need for restraint from such reckless statements.”
He continued: “All well-meaning members of the Miyetti Allah group need to urgently disassociate themselves from the provocative statement linked to the group as proof that the speaker is not playing a script.
“Without a doubt, there are members of Miyetti Allah who love this country genuinely, craving to see the country grow in peace and develop in every sphere, reckon that the statement credited to the group’s President is not a popular view, as such, needs to be publicly opposed.
“Nigeria’s problems are numerous; from insecurity to bad economy and now, the COVID-19 pandemic. CAN, therefore, does not want to add to the barrage of problems the country face by letting unscrupulous people make grave and ungodly utterances that have dangerous security implications.
“Nigerians will wait and see what the Federal Government through its security agencies will do about this inflammatory statement unless we have separate laws for different groups of people in this country.”
Miyetti Allah following Sarduana’s footsteps – Mbazulike Amaechi
Reacting to the claim, elder statesman and sole surviving member of the Zikist Movement, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, said he had been warning Nigerians that the aim of the present administration was to achieve what Sarduana of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, leader of Northern People’s Congress, NPC, said in the Parrot Magazine of October 12, 1960, less than 12 days after Nigeria’s independence.
According to Mbazulike Amaechi, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello had shortly after independence said that Nigeria is an estate of their great-grandfather, Othman Dan Fodio, that they must ruthlessly prevent change of power.
“In my book: ‘A political History of Modern Nigeria’, on page 90, I quoted Sarduana of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello’s comments in Parrot Magazine of October 12,1960, twelve days after independence, where he said that ‘the new nation called Nigeria should be an estate from our great grand-father, Othman Dan Fodio, we must ruthlessly prevent a change of power.
“We must use the minorities of the North as willing tools and the South as conquered territories and never allow them to have control of their future. Our great-grandfather conquered up to Ilorin but we have now accomplished the task which he did not complete. I will dip the Q’uran at the sea.”
Mbazulike, who was the First Republic Aviation Minister, said the Fulani believed they owned Nigeria and that other sections of the country were their property.
He continued: “Today, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is telling Nigerians the same thing and you want to disagree with them; that is what this government is all about. I have been telling Nigerians that the purpose of this government is to Islamize Nigeria and empower the Fulani but nobody is listening to me.
“Sarduana of Sokoto said it in Parrot Newspaper of October 12, 1960, twelve days after independence, that they own Nigeria and all other sections of the country is their property and they will continue to rule the country and the Miyetti Allah is telling you today and you still want to doubt them. I said it that this is where the country is going now.”
Speaking further, the elder statesman said that “nobody should blame them because they are matching their words with action and Nigerians do not care, nobody wants to listen to me, so Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is right in their thinking.”
I’m vindicated – Nnamdi Kanu
In like manner, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, said on his Facebook wall: “For years IPOB warned, screamed and worked tirelessly hard to let the whole world understand what is happening and about to happen, but I was ignored, insulted, spat at and ridiculed.”
Ohanaeze youths warn against encroachment on Igbo land
On their part, Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths faulted the Fulani leader and warned that they will resist Fulani illegal emigrants and herdsmen occupying their lands.
National Deputy President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths, Dr. Kingsley Dozie, described Bodejo’s statement as “dissident inflammatory.” Warning him to withdraw the statement, Dozie urged the Federal Government to call him to order before he sets the country on fire.
“We are very disappointed and annoyed with the dissident inflammatory statement of the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi.
Among other things, he claimed that the Fulani do not need permission to pitch a permanent tent anywhere in Nigeria.
“He also further claimed that Nigeria was founded by the Fulani, hence they would continue to rule Nigeria forever. But most provocative was his claims of their proposed vigilante group to be deployed all over Nigeria, without taking permission from anyone, since Nigeria is their own.
“Igbo youths want to make it categorically clear that any attempt by any outsiders to assert themselves forcefully or illegally would be met with resolute opposition. The 1978 Land Use Act is crystal clear that any Land usage that doesn’t come with express permission from a state governor is illegal.
“Their claims of having free rights to any part of the country are very misleading, except they are planning to force a total breakdown of law and order in Nigeria. All lands within our territory belong exclusively to us and our governors are the legitimate caretakers.
“This threat and annoying statement from the Miyetti Allah’s boss is grossly inappropriate and any attempt to effect any of those things he said anywhere in Igbo land would be vibrantly resisted by us. We are always ready to protect our territories from undue incursions in case they don’t know.
“He should be more preoccupied with the solution to the recurring clashes between his Fulani herdsmen and farmers. He shouldn’t be making headlines with divisive statements and threats.
“We call upon the Federal Government to quickly caution the leadership of Miyetti Allah for their excesses have reached the level of warmongering and no region has the monopoly of violence.
‘’Even as we preach for true peace, Miyetti Allah should endeavour to pay attention to the laws of our country, Nigeria, not always acting like they are above the law. We would always continue to advocate for peace and harmony among our visitors in as much as they heed to the law of the land. Miyetti Allah should henceforth not try our patience,” Ohanaeze youths warned.
Miyetti Allah out to destroy Nigeria —SMBLF
Also, the Southern Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, blasted Miyetti Allah over the comment.
SMBLF Spokesperson, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, warned the group against making statements that are capable of destroying the country.
His words: “It is clear to us that this group is on a mission to destroy this country with their actions and utterances. They have been killing people around the country in the last five years with the law looking the other way.
“Now they are making claim to all territories in Nigeria and there is no law enforcement to say ‘stop it.’ Our advice to the drummers making melody for them under the water is to know that they surely can predict the beginning of what they are plotting but not the end of it.”
Miyetti Allah advocating anarchy – Dr. Junaid
In his reaction, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, described statement credited to the National President of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo as advocating anarchy.
He said: “I am a Fulani man but I don’t know him and he cannot speak for any Fulani man dead or alive, because that man or whoever he is cannot claim to speak on my behalf.
“Secondly, what he is advocating essentially is anarchy. He is trying to deny the powers of the modern state as recognized by international law that you as an individual who is a citizen of a certain area, claim to be an indigene of a certain area, you are entitled to certain rights and privileges.
“But at the same time, you must also accept that there are other people’s rights and privileges that you should not deny them. So saying that they have the right to occupy wherever they want to occupy is sheer nonsense.
“Frankly speaking, the Miyyeti Allah of today, I don’t know how it started, but the ones I see with their activities and statements is a very dangerous organization, they are anti-democratic. They are more or less punching sticks, and almost all of them involved in states and local governments, some of the emirate and all that.
“They are beholden to some certain traditional rulers who are anti-democratic, and the traditional rulers use them for purposes of political blackmail. They want to decide political power and they don’t want to leave their traditional titles in bogus gown and turbans. They would rather use some dubious faceless organizations through which they want to exercise political powers, and that is undemocratic.
“So he is talking nonsense, and I don’t know whether he is a Nigerian or if he is not a Nigerian. But certainly, nobody who is a citizen of this country as lawfully recognized by international law, can make these kind of absolutely irresponsible statement. He speaks for nobody.”
Bodejo makes U-turn, -says I never claimed Nigeria belongs to Fulani
However, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, has said that he never claimed that Nigeria belonged to the Fulani, saying that the report was a blatant, fabricated lie by enemies of the Fulani people.
In the statement entitled ‘Refuting News Reports’, Bodejo said his attention was drawn to a news report making rounds in the social media to the effect that as national president of Miyetti Allah he made claims that “Nigeria is a Fulbe country and that the Fulbe can enter anywhere without permission. And that the Fulbe are also raising a 100,000-man militia to enforce their will on every community in this country.
“I want to state clearly and unequivocally that this news report is a blatant fabricated lie. It is actually the enemies of the Fulbe people that are at it again, as always, concocting such insidious and malicious falsehood against our people for their diabolical agenda against the Nigerian state.
“No doubt, I was asked by the Sun Newspaper to react to the formation of Amotekun and my response was that every ethnic group has the inalienable right to defend itself against any aggression, including the Fulbe, that Fulbe will pursue their legitimate business anywhere in Nigeria as the country is as much their inheritance as it is of other groups.
“I further said the Fulbe will also form their vigilante groups if necessary to ward off any threat against our people and against the incessant cattle rustlings that our people have been suffering for decades without respite from government and other communities.
“For example, more than 804 Fulbe were murdered in cold blood in June, 2017 and more than 10,000 of their cattle killed by Mambila militias in Taraba State, continuous killing of our people and stealing and rustling their cattle in Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Benue, Zamfara with no arrest against the perpetrators.”
Bodejo said the act was part of sustained propaganda and hate speech against Fulani pastoralists by tribal champions and ethnic bigots.
“This is essentially what l said to the Sun Newspaper. But I am surprised that I did not see this report on the media I spoke to but it went distortedly (sic) viral on some other social media. Miyetti Allah refutes this news report and condemns the inherent mischief by the enemies of the Fulbe for this diabolical act. With or without Miyetti Allah, the Fulbe have the ability, capacity and right to defend themselves in Nigeria and indeed anywhere. Let those who wish this our great country ill look for other means but leave the Fulbe alone. We have enough of our problems without adding salt to injury,” he added.