The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has said Fulani herdsmen should not be stereotyped as criminals, adding that they have economic value in the South-West region also.
According to the MACBAN National President, Muhammad Kirowa, over 8,000 cows are consumed in the South-West region on a daily basis.
He spoke at the stakeholders’ meeting on farmers and herdsmen’s clashes in Ogun State as they concerned the recent troubled communities.
Those present at the event were the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawale; Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sanni Bello.
“Our people suffered more in the hands of criminals in Nigeria. But we have been portrayed as criminals. Herders deserve sympathy. They are not criminals. Over 8,000 cows are consumed in the South-West on a daily basis,” he stated.
The Sarkin Fulani of Abeokuta, Muhammad Kabir Labar, also noted that about 20 houses were burnt in the recent crisis in the state.
He said elements were bent “on setting our people against one another by whipping up ethnic sentiments.”
Recent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the troubled areas of Yewaland claimed lives in Eggua, Ketu, Igbooro, Iselu, Agbon-Ojodu, Asa, Ibeku, Imeko and Oja-Odan.
Labar blamed the crisis on strangers who, he said, had disrupted peaceful coexistence enjoyed in the state over the years.
The Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, warned herders and their association against making inflammatory remarks that would further worsen the situation.
Governor Abiodun said the farmers and herders in the state would sign a peace treaty.
He said those fomenting trouble and ethnic clashes in the state were non-residents.