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30 Jun 2018

Plateau killings: Buhari govt not serious, only makes noise and goes to sleep - say Northern elder, Yakassai

Tanko Yakassai, a Third Republic Presidential Adviser and Northern Elder, has advised the Federal Government and security agencies on what to do to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, if they own up to the killings in Plateau State.
Yakassai said government and security agencies, “should get serious and investigate” MACBAN if they own up to the killings.

Speaking with Vanguard, the Northern elder said the killings in Plateau was religious and ethnic, not political.

Giving reasons for his claim, the former Presidential aide said people of Plateau were not comfortable with Fulani settlers.

According to Yakassai, “The killings are largely non-political. They are ethnic and religious because the indigenous people of Plateau are non-Fulani and non-Muslim. So, there have been problems for a long time between the indigenous people and Fulani settlers. The native people are not comfortable with settler Fulani and others who came because of mining activities. The indigenous settlers are not traders. That is why there are so many people, all from different backgrounds.

“The indigenous are the originators of the whole thing. They see non-indigenes as foreigners and therefore, not entitled to own land or anything. The Fulani are originally from the Middle-East. They are from Yemen and other Middle-East countries. Most northerners are basically from Middle-East and they came because of mining and other business activities. The indigenes are not comfortable with that.

“The killings did not start today. They have been going on for a number of years. It is not a new thing and initially had nothing to do with Miyetti Allah. Miyetti Allah is a new creation in the whole thing. It’s an association of cattle-rearers. They are protecting the interest of fellow Fulani, their right to trade, to settle and their right to do business.

“But the government is not taking action concerning the killings and so it continues to happen. It is the fault of government and security agencies. Miyetti Allah is part of the Fulani settlers and the Fulani are everywhere in Africa. They know the bush paths and they are the highest diaspora in West Africa. They can come from Burkina Faso, Yemen or anywhere, commit a crime and slip away without a trace.

“It is the problem of the FG and security agencies to tackle these issues and show how to overcome them. I don’t like the fire-brigade attitude of the government to these issues. Whenever the killings happen, they make noise and everything dies down until it happens again. That is not the way to solve the problem.

“If Miyetti Allah said they did it, government and security agencies know what to do. They should get serious and investigate the problem in order to solve it.”

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