The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has come under intense criticisms over its claim that Nigeria belongs to Fulani.
A national newspaper had on Sunday quoted Abdullahi Bodejo, national president of the group, as saying the Fulani own Nigeria and will rule it forever.
Bodejo was further quoted as disclosing plans by the group to flag off its own security outfit with about 5,000 to 100,000 vigilantes to be deployed across all the states of the country.
But in separate reactions, CAN, IPOB, MASSOB and others condemned the statement as one coming from those who did not want Nigerians to live in peace and unity.
In a statement through its vice chairman, John Joseph Hayab, CAN in the 19 northern states and FCT, said the country does not belong to anyone.
The statement read: “Making such false claims as that of Miyetti Allah’s president will only create tension and fuel crisis. CAN, therefore, calls on the Federal Government, through the DG SSS and IGP, to have a session with the ethnic superiority champion to school him on the diversity of Nigeria and the need for restraint from such reckless statements.
“All well-meaning members of the Miyetti Allah group need to urgently disassociate themselves from the provocative statement linked to the group as proof that the speaker is not playing a script.
“Without a doubt, there are members of Miyetti Allah who love this country genuinely, craving to see the country grow in peace and develop in every sphere (who) reckon that the statement credited to the group’s president is not a popular view, as such, needs to be publicly opposed.
“Nigeria’s problems are numerous; from insecurity to bad economy and now the COVID-19. CAN, therefore, does not want to add to the barrage of problems the country faces by letting unscrupulous people make grave and ungodly utterances that have dangerous security implications.
“Nigerians will wait and see what the Federal Government, through her security agencies, would do about this inflammatory statement, unless if we have separate laws for different groups of people in this country.”
Also reacting Ohaneze Ndigbo, in a statement by its deputy national publicity secretary, Chuks Ibegbu, condemned the northern group’s claim.
“Can an Ijaw or Yoruba man go to any bush in Katsina or Sokoto to occupy it and claim it as his own? It cannot happen. Let them come out and rent houses in the towns, as the world does not tolerate wandering by herders again. So, Bodejo should stop inflaming the already inflamed society with his queer theory,” he said.
Also reacting, Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba organisation, said the group’s statement was indicative it is backed by powerful forces in the north.
Afenifere, in a statement by its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said: “I don’t know any group in Nigeria today that can be making the kind of statement they are making and won’t be arrested. What did the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) do when the Federal Government rolled out arms against them? IPOB didn’t threaten the peace of the country the way Miyetti Allah is doing, yet see what happened to them.
“It is now clear that these people are in the next level of their nefarious activities and they are seriously threatening the peace of Nigeria. We would not be addressing those thugs, we would be addressing their sponsors and collaborators to know that what they are playing at, they can only predict the beginning but they may not know the end and that is why they should be very careful. We are not expecting the Federal Government to say or take any action because in the past they have always made excuses for them.”
Meanwhile, Miyetti Allah has denied issuing making such remarks, claiming the national newspaper quoted its words out of context.
In a statement on Sunday night, Bodejo said: “My attention has been drawn to a news report making rounds in the social media to the effect that as National President of Miyetti Allah I made claims that Nigeria is a Fulbe country and that the Fulbe can enter anywhere without permission. And that the Fulbe are also raising 100,000 militiamen to enforce their will on every community in this country.
“I want to state clearly and unequivocally that this news report is a fabricated lie.
“It is actually the enemies of the Fulbe people that are at it again, as always, concocting such insidious and malicious falsehood against our people for their diabolical agenda against the Nigerian state.”