- Miyetti Allah has replied former Head of State Yakubu Gowon over his comments on herdsmen
- Gowon had said that the leadership of cow merchants in Nigeria should be invited by security agencies for questioning over the ceaseless killings in the country
- The chairman of MACBAN in Plateau state, Muhammad Abdullahi, however, said that Gowon was being disturbed by old age
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has reacted to the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon's comments on herdsmen/farmers' clashes in Nigeria.
The Punch reports that following the spate of killings occasioned by the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, Gowon had suggested that the leadership of cow merchants in Nigeria should be invited by security agencies for questioning over the ceaseless killings in the country and the crisis with farmers.
NAIJ.com gathered that the organisation, however, replied that Gowon was being disturbed by old age, adding that the ex-military leader had spoken out of ignorance.
Gowon, who is 83-year-old, made the suggestion at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi, when he visited Governor Samuel Ortom to commiserate with the government and the people of Benue state over the wanton killings and destruction of property.
“Security agencies should invite and question the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Ho.re who had threatened to unleash violence on Benue state and later justified the killings and their roles”, Gowon had stated.
He particularly expressed worry over the killings of “innocent and unarmed” villagers by armed herdsmen.
Gowon, who said he was disappointed with the handling of the security situation in Nigeria, said he was overseas when two Catholic priests and 17 worshipers were killed in a church in Benue state during a morning mass.
He expressed the condolences of his group, ‘Nigeria prays,’ to governor Ortom, saying, “I am sad and worried at the religious dimension the killings are assuming.”
But the chairman of MACBAN in Plateau state, Muhammad Abdullahi, said that Gowon was being “disturbed by old age.”
Abdullahi said: “Gowon is talking rubbish and out of ignorance. He should go back to his old age and see what he did before now. When he was Head of State, Gowon was the person who messed this country up. So, forget about him, old age is disturbing him.
“When he said he was advising the security agencies to invite all the Fulani stakeholders and leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal H.ore, what did he mean? Did he mean that they were the perpetrators of the crimes?
“If he has facts, let him expose the facts so that the proper thing will be done.
“Although I am not in the Miyetti Allah Kautal H.ore that he mentioned, being a leader, I strongly believe that if Yakubu Gowon as an elder statesman and stakeholder in Nigeria will come out and show his sadness concerning what is happening in Nigeria, he should be cautioned.
“It is possible he has something in his mind that is disturbing him personally. Look at what is happening in Plateau state, these attacks and killings are going on in Plateau state. But because it is not Fulani, it is not Muslims, you can’t hear anything.
“On Monday, they attacked one Abubakar’s son in Barkin Ladi. He was shot, injured and his car destroyed. But fortunately, he did not die; his two legs have been destroyed.
“The following evening, on Tuesday, they shot at two pastors going back from Mangu. These things continue happening day in, day out, almost on a daily basis.
“You will have one killing, destruction of properties, killing one person or the other. Nobody will discuss that one, it is not an offence.
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“I don’t know what Gowon is seeing; he’s seeing Fulani herdsmen. That is how he has messed Nigeria in the 1970s.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria said that its leaders cannot be arrested by the Nigeria Police Force because they are not criminals.
Victims of Herdsmen killing buried in Benue State - on NAIJ.com TV