Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, says he is a patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
Sanusi said the group is not violent in nature and that the sultan of Sokoto, emir of Katsina, emir of Zazzau and the lamido of Adamawa were also fellow patrons.
“As I understand it when Miyetti Allah was first set up, they requested a few Fulani emirs to be their patrons in their capacity as emirs. The first grand patron was Sultan Abubakar III and he was replaced by successive sultans – Dasuki, Maccido and Saad Abubakar now,” he told PUNCH.
“Other patrons were emir of Kano, Lamido of Adamawa and emirs of Zazzau and Katsina, I believe. So, my predecessor was a patron and on my ascension to the throne, I became a patron. This is all nominal.
“To the best of my knowledge, Miyetti Allah has never been involved in acts of violence and has always condemned violence and called on its members to eschew violence.
“It is, however, committed to protecting the fundamental rights of herdsmen as Nigerians including constitutional right to freedom of movement and the ownership of private wealth and peaceful conduct of their business.”
The monarch criticised the federal government’s handling of an alleged attack on Fulani herdsmen in Taraba state, noting that killings in the Middle Belt were also carried out locals.
According to Sanusi, 800 persons were killed my Mabilla militias “some months ago” but the government failed to act on the matter despite receiving “video and audio evidence of senior politicians” involved.
“Some months ago in Mambilla, in one weekend, over 800 Fulani were murdered by Mambilla militias. The papers did not even go there to cover the story. Most of those wiped out were women, infants and the elderly,” he said.
“In one case, a pregnant woman was killed, her stomach was ripped open and the baby was brought out and slaughtered. I personally handed over to the Federal Government a dossier with the names and pictures of the 800 or so people slaughtered as well as the names and addresses of persons known to have participated in these acts of ethnic cleansing.
“Nothing has happened. I also ensured that authorities received video and audio evidence of senior politicians in Taraba State, who were involved in this act of genocide. No one has been arrested. Fulanis were also murdered in Kajuru and Numan.”
The monarch also criticised Benue’s anti-grazing law, saying it was capable of causing division and disenfranchising Fulani herdsmen.