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7 Apr 2018

Killer herdsmen not Nigerians, backed by top govt officials - Security expert reveals

Colonel Bude Nnakee Okafor (retd.), a crisis and security management consultant, has said that the Fulani herdsmen who perpetrate terror in parts of Nigeria are not Nigerians.
Okafor said the terror herdsmen were being moved into Nigeria through the nation’s porous borders from Niger, Chad, Mali, Togo and other neighbouring African countries where their activities have been proscribed.

The retired army colonel, who described himself as a grandmaster strategist and trouble shooter, claimed that the killer herdsmen where being backed by top government officials from the North who own cows and use the killer herdsmen to protect their flocks.

He said they were brought into the country by influential cattle owners, and have the mandate to protect their cattle against rustlers.

Okafor, who spoke to journalists in Awka on Saturday, said, “You should ask yourselves why the Fulani herdsmen who we all know, and who have always been with us for as long as we can remember have suddenly turned violent?

“They have backers within the government. Fulani Herdsmen have been with us but never as deadly as this. These people we see are not Nigerians. They come from Mali, Niger and other countries, where their activities have been proscribed. They now move here.

“The Miyetti Allah cattle breeders was formed to fight rustlers in the north, where people rustle and steal cows in their hundreds, and that was the main reason for forming Miyetti Allah, but the herdsmen men have turned violent.

“They are supported by cattle owners who are very influential in government. Most of the lawmakers from the north own cattle, same for officials of the federal government. These people value their livestock more than human beings, but we in the south value our crops that much too.

“You cannot farm atop another man’s farm, it’s not possible. They cannot use their own to destroy those of others,” he stated.

Speaking on the solution to the frequent attacks, Okafor said the executive and legislature have not lived up to expectations. He called for the proscription of normadic cattle rearing and the Miyetti Allah group, saying their violent activities had come to a head.

He said, “They are now violent because they have support in the groups, Miyetti Allah who have recruited Malians, Niger and Togolese to protect their herds.

“Most people who have cows are in government and they are in the majority and their cows are herded by these dangerous people.”

The security management consultant called for ranching, saying that such could provide revenue for host communities, where young people can earn a living cutting and selling grass to herders as was the case in his early days.

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