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Obasanjo: It’s not Buhari’s job to condemn Fulani herdsmen

Obasanjo: It’s not Buhari’s job to condemn Fulani herdsmen
October 19
07:53 2016

Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, has said the onus is not on president Muhammadu Buhari to address the menace of Fulani herdsmen.

The ex-head of state believes it is the responsibility of state and local governments to deal with the persistent problem.

Obasanjo says he’s infuriated by comments insinuating that Buhari has vested interest in the activities of Fulani herdsmen, hence his silence on the matter.

He made the comments on Tuesday during the 23rd annual Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) development forum in Abuja.

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“Some of the words that have been coming out from our leaders, particularly from state governors, are not helpful; they are not helpful.

“This issue is not a federal issue and another thing I don’t like about it is that when you talk of Fulani herdsmen, people talk of the President.

“Now because the President of Nigeria is a Fulani man, then you would expect him to jump up and say this one is condemned and all that, no. That is not his job. And when people make comments like this, it annoys me.

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“They say the President hasn’t said anything about this, that he used to be the patron of something…, but I believe that the ranching thing failed because the states and the local governments failed to do what they ought to have done.

Obasanjo noted that the clashes are not a national issue while adding that it’s not acceptable for Fulani herdsmen for Fulani herdsmen to destroy the crops of farmers.

“I need to state that it is the responsibility of local governments to take care of them. Now, states should have even done a lot better, (but) they haven’t, and then when you have cattle rustling, herdsmen and farmers’ conflict, you try to make it a national issue. But it is not really a national issue.

“For me, the herdsmen are entitled to be able to look after their animals but they are not entitled to destroy the crops of the rural farmers, it is unacceptable.”

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1 Comment

  1. Bee
    Bee October 19, 14:34

    “I need to state that it is the responsibility of local governments to take care of them. Now, states should have even done a lot better, (but) they haven’t, and then when you have cattle rustling, herdsmen and farmers’ conflict, you try to make it a national issue. But it is not really a national issue
    I doubt if Obasanjo understands that the Fulani herdsmen menace he is talking about is a security matter (named as fourth deadliest terror group in the world) which according to the unitary federal structure he helped to create and nurture till date, belongs out rightly to the portfolio of the federal government and neither that of the states or local governments. I would like to remind him also that the cattle rustling( Cattle steeling) he also mentioned, has been singled out by the Buhari federal government as a federal issue with resultant commitment of the Nigerian army not even the police to checkmate the occurrence. Yet Fulani herdsmen armed with assault rifle ransacking villages, destroying farms and killing Nigerian citizens in their thousands is not a federal issue. Whether Buhari, Obasanjo or whoever has interest in cattle rearing is simply not the issue here unless they want to make it one.
    Also drawing Obasanjos attention to the statement from Buhari himself, whereby the Fulani herdsmen were to be from Libya, when he said” Gadhafi, during his 43 year-regime, trained some people from the Sahel militarily. „When his regime was overthrown, those people were dispatched to their countries. They found themselves in the Boko Haram and others“.
    According to Buhari’s statement Nigeria is being invaded by armed militia from Libya, making it imperative to ask, is the territorial integrity of the country which Obasanjo and Buhari always claimed to be protecting by participating in a senseless civil war that left over 2 million fellow compatriots dead, not at stake here?. Is it the job of the local government to protect the territorial integrity of the country or that of the federal authorities to declare war on the invaders?
    Unless Obasanjo is suggesting that the federal government is declaring itself incapable of checkmating the menace of the Fulani Herdsmen, and asking the people through the local authorities that do not even control the police force to take the laws into their hands.
    That notwithstanding, if Obasanjo is subtly passing the message that the highly clamored restructuring of the country with the federal government passing their responsibilities on security matters to the states and local government for the start, and probably followed by resource control to the local authorities has begun, then that is highly welcomed.

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