National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, has said the 30-day ultimatum by the Emir of Muri in Taraba State, Abbas Tafida, asking Fulani herdsmen to vacate the forests in his kingdom or risked being wipe out by armed youths, will not stand.
Bodejo while reacting to the ultimatum in an interview, said the Emir has no power to give such ultimatum especially at a time herdsmen are facing persecution in other parts of the country.
He said herdsmen have been grazing in the area before his birth, and even before the creation of Taraba state. He warned that any form of attack against herdsmen in the state will not end well for the Emir.
Tafida, had during the Eid-el Kabir sermon, issued the ultimatum as he lamented the terror unleashed by armed herdsmen who have allegedly been kiIIing, kidnapping, and raping residents in his kingdom.
He stated that the people had warmly accepted the Fulani but did not expect such treatment as payback from the herders.
The Emir also warned that anyone conniving with kidnappers or protecting them from being prosecuted will be punished severely, including police officers.
He said, “From now onwards if anyone is kidnapped from this emirate, we will go into the bush and kiII any Fulani man we see and we will not ask for his name or what he does because the Fulanis cannot say they do not know the kidnappers, they had better stop them.
“Our young people are inactive. Police at a time caught a district head conniving with kidnappers and they gave him bail, he had the audacity to go back to his district and the youths did nothing.
“From now on, anyone caught conniving with kidnappers, we will kiII him and his family members. Police should be warned! We have respect for them but when next they arrest someone conniving with kidnappers and they let the person go free, we will also arm the youth to protect the citizens.
”Our Fulani herdsmen in the forests, you came into this state and we accepted you, why then will you be coming to towns and villages to kidnap residents, even up to the extent of r a ping our women? If you are not a Muslim, let us know.
“Because of this unending menace, every Fulani herdsman in this state have been given 30 days uItimatum to vacate the forests. We are tired of having sleepless nights and the hunger alone in the land is enormous and we will not allow this oppression to continue.”
However in his reaction, Bodejo said that Tafida is not a real Fulani and his quit notice would not be obeyed.
“That Emir of Muri should be taken to a psychiatric hospital. From the way he is talking, there is no doubt that he requires a psychiatric examination.
“He claims to be a Fulani, but there is no right-thinking Fulani who can issue such a threat to his people. How can he give such an ultimatum?
“He is not a law enforcement agent or a security agent. He is just an ordinary emir, who is not fully recognised by the Fulani.
“If you observe, you hardly see him in any Fulani activity or programme in Nigeria because the Fulani do not recognise him. Maybe he has a problem in his palace and so started issuing threats to those he perceived were not loyal to him.
“Where is he asking them to go? Taraba State is for everyone, so he doesn’t have the power to evict our people from where they are doing their business or trade,” Satuday Sun quoted Bodejo as saying.
Asked what the group would do at the expiration of the ultimatum, Bodejo said, “We don’t recognise him and his authority, and since we don’t recognise him, we can’t obey his directives.
“Before the expiration of the ultimatum, we are going to write the Governor of Taraba State to remove him as an emir. We are going to write all the Fulani in Nigeria and beyond not to recognise him as an emir because he is calling for a genocide against the Fulani people in his area.
“Who is he to call for the killing of our people? He is a non-Fulani. How can you claim to be a Fulani and you are calling for genocide against your people?
“Even my friend and brother, Samuel Ortom, Benue State governor, has not called for the killing of Fulani, but he is trying to find solutions to his own problem. He is a Tiv, but he is not calling for genocide against the Fulani.
“I’m calling on all Fulani in Muri to continue with their activities. Taraba is my state of origin, and I’m calling on the governor to quickly dethrone this emir before he caused bloodbath in the state. He doesn’t deserve to be an emir.
“A person who is pan Nigerian should take over from him. We are also calling on the Inspector General of Police and the DSS to invite him to explain what he meant by his people to kill Fulani. He gave them one month to do what? Is it only Fulani who are committing crime? Go and find out the arrest of criminals by IGP IRT headed by Abba Kyari. About 70 per cent of them are not Fulani.
“I don’t know why the emir will go to this extent, or he has agenda against the Fulani? Has he prepared any state or country to take these Fulani to? Nobody can go anywhere.
“Before he was born, Fulani were rearing cows in Jalingo; before the creation of Taraba State, Fulani were doing their activities there. If he doesn’t know, let him ask for the history. How old is he? He may be in his mid 70s or if he is up to 85 years, then old age sickness has taken over and that may be the reason he is talking like that.”