The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in the South East zone, Alhaji Gidado Sadiq, has explained that the proposed Fulani vigilantes is to monitor the activities of herdsmen and repair the damaged image of the Fulani in the region.
He disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard, stressing that the vigilante would work with the host community to fish out criminal herdsmen.
Recall that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo expressed outrage at the idea of having Fulani vigilantes in the geopolitical zone and the South East Governors Forum said it would not give assent to the proposal.
However, Sadiq explained that the proposal for Fulani vigilantes had been misconstrued.
He said, “The proposal is that wherever you chose to live, you have to make sacrifices and do what will bring peace in the area.
“If you read the newspapers you will see so much criticisms against Fulani herdsmen, the Fulani in general or the northern extraction here in the South-East and so we have to do whatever is within our reach to redeem this name.
“There is no race that does not have criminals among them. It is not good to say that everybody from the race is a criminal. That is why we want to come out to work with the people that we know.
“The Fulani herdsmen here in the South-East or any other place are looking for greener pastures to raise their cattle.
“They are not here for violence or to make trouble. So, that is why we want to redeem the name and for people to see us as peace loving people.
“This vigilante we are talking about, we did not say that they are going to work on their own. They will be under the supervision of their host or under the supervision of the Fulani.”
Sadiq emphasised that the Fulani vigilantes will work with the local community vigilantes to maintain peaceful coexistence between the herdsmen and their host communities.
He stated, “Most of the clashes we are having between farmers and herders are about the destruction of crops or killing of cattle.
“If we have a task force or vigilante from the Fulani side, whenever a report is made to me, as a leader, it will be addressed like in a recent report made to me at Uzo-Uwani, which I assigned four boys to go and assess that destruction, value the destruction and make sure that the owners of the cattle pay compensation to the farmer.
“This thing cannot be done with only Fulani, at least the host will be there, the governor’s aide will be there with the Fulani, they will go and assess, after assessing they will know the Fulani that is responsible for that destruction.
“This is how they can work. Whenever there is a report of anything, these people will go. If the person responsible is from our side, they will know.”