Saleh Alhassan, the national secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, says the group is ready to retaliate the killing of herders in any part of the country.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Alhassan alleged that the herders who are being attacked in some regions of the country are innocent.
He said the group will resist any attempt to force herders out of the south-west region.
“Nobody has the right (to evict herdsmen). If you say you are going to evict us, we will resist eviction. We have been surviving in harsh environments. If we do not resist, we will be wiped out of the planet. If you kill a herder, don’t go and sleep, we will revisit you, and it’s not because we hate your tribe. People attack herders, and in one way or the other, herders have found a way to retaliate,” Alhassan said.
“All those who travelled to the Benin Republic and others are coming back home. All those saying they will bar foreign herders from entering Nigeria are just playing to the gallery because if they are aware of the ECOWAS Protocols, they would know they cannot chase them away. That is why the position of the Bauchi State Governor is the true position. You have no right to evict anybody from any part of the country.
“Our number has increased recently because of the tension in Ghana and Benin Republics. The ones in Benin Republic have integrated with the Yoruba in such a way that they speak the language. They were initially living in the South-West, and they are coming back.
“They expected a reaction from us, maybe by way of attacking other ethnic nationalities. But that is wrong because the herders they are attacking are the innocent herders. Are the criminals representing anybody? They are doing their criminal enterprise. Our own pain is that the people who are supposed to know are pretending as if they don’t know.”
There has been growing tension over the activities of herders in the south-west. Some herders have been accused of kidnapping and killings in the region.