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MURIC to cattle owners: Register your business — stop hiding behind Fulani herders

MURIC to cattle owners: Register your business — stop hiding behind Fulani herders
February 11
09:46 2021

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked cattle owners to register their business for the sake of accountability. 

In a statement, Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, said his suggestion is based on the discovery that the owner of the cattle that strayed into the compound of Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, is Yoruba.

Akintola said the assumption has always been that all cattle are owned by northerners, but that it has become glaring that most of the cows in the south are owned by southerners.

He said many important dignitaries in the south own hundreds of cows but choose to remain silent even in the face of “this controversy”.

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“We strongly condemn the incident in which a cow strayed into Professor Wole Soyinka’s compound at Kemta Estate, Abeokuta, on Tuesday, 9th February, 2021. It is a desecration of a hallowed space,” he said.

“The respected professor needs peace to be able to contribute intellectually (as usual) to the Nigerian debate. Nigeria still needs his rich interventions.

“But the incident has thrown up another dimension in the herdsmen saga. For instance, it has hitherto been assumed that all cattle are owned by Northerners and that all herdsmen are from the North. But the truth is beginning to surface.

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“The owner of the cows that strayed into Professor Wole Soyinka’s compound happened to be a Southerner and a Yoruba. He was identified as Mr. Kazeem Sorinola, an indigene of Ijeun, Abeokuta. This is instructive.

“In our search for solutions to the herdsmen imbroglio, MURIC has forwarded two main suggestions within the past two weeks.

“It has now become necessary to add another suggestion. All cow owners in the country should be registered. Let us know who we are dealing with.

“It is becoming glaring that most of the cows we see in the South are owned by Southerners. Many important dignitaries in the South own hundreds of cows but they remain silent even in the face of this controversy. It has been alleged that some of the cattle owners are retired army generals, leading politicians, traditional rulers, etc, all from the South West, South East, and South South.

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“FG must set the machinery in motion to unveil the face of the masquerade. State governments must enforce the ban on open grazing while cow owners must build their private ranches and stop constituting public nuisance.

“Therefore, our message to Mr. Kazeem Sorinola of Ijeun, Abeokuta, the owner of the cow which forayed into Professor Wole Soyinka’s compound and other cow owners like him is this: ‘Source for funds to build a ranch for your cow. Stop hiding behind the Fulani façade.”

Akintola said focusing on a particular tribe in search of criminals “beclouds our sense of judgement and enables the real criminals to hibernate while the blame is shifted to innocent people of the persecuted tribe”.

He added that in the light of current happenings, herders are not the problem but cattle owners.

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