The Fulanis in the Southwest region of Nigeria have dissociated themselves from the kidnap of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae last month.
The herdsmen under the aegis of the Association of the Southwest Nigeria and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) at a news conference in Lagos on Sunday challenged the nation’s security agencies to fish out the culprits and prosecute them accordingly.
Falae was abducted from his farm located in the outskirts of Akure, Ondo state capital last month. He spent four days in the kidnappers’ custody before his release. He had alleged that his abductors were Fulani herdsmen.
The Yoruba social cultural group, Afenifere had subsequently called for the ban of herdsmen from the South west region.
The leader of MACBAN from Ondo state, Alhaji Bello Garuba while responding to Newsmen inquiry on the kidnapping saga said his members in the state were not responsible for the incident, noting that herdsmen in the area had never been involved in criminal activities.
Garuba who spoke through an interpreter said, the claim that the Fulanis were responsible for the kidnapping came as a surprise to them adding “and we are challenging the security people to go after those who carried out the kidnapping. We are not responsible for it.”
“Much as we, as a group condemn in its entirety, the criminal act of kidnapping of anybody or individual for ransom, there is need for us to be cautious in taking rash decisions and making unwarranted statements that could cause socio-cultural or socio-political disorder in our country Nigeria at this very critical period.
“Such calls (banning of cattle rearing or movement in Southwest Nigeria) is not in the best interest of anybody be it Yoruba, Fulani or any tribe whatsoever and as such, we must be seen to be equal partners in this project Nigeria,” it said.