Director of Media and Publicity, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Kaduna State chapter, Alhaji Ibrahim Bayero has lauded the governors of the Southern states for deciding to ban open grazing in the region. He said the move would force governors in the North to develop grazing reserves in the 19 Northern states.
And reacting to the assertion by former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Imo State, Prof. Osuagwu that the Fulani pose some existential threat in Nigeria, Bayero said the Fulani are too busy to think of causing any havoc to their fatherland.
In an interview with NOAH EBIJE in Kaduna, Bayero dismissed Prof Osuagwu as one with no knowledge of history seeking to cause a fight between the Hausa and the Fulani. He also urged the Igbo people to reach out to people in other parts of the country if they are indeed interested in having a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
What is your reaction to the ban on open grazing by the Southern governors?
Let them push the Fulani to come back to the North. We prefer it because we don’t even want our people to live in the South, those that grazing there. If they continue to remain in the South, our governors will not be moved to develop the grazing reserves in the North. We have many grazing reserves established by the colonial masters, but our governors abandoned them. But desertification has pushed the Fulani to the Southern part and our governors felt reluctant to develop them. Let the South-East, South-West and South-South send the Fulani back to the North because we have enough land to accommodate them. We have more land than the South. They should send them back to the North. We don’t care and they will see what will happen. Fulani are not a liability in this country. They are the most productive Nigerians. They are not idle people. Go and see, a single Fulani man is controlling 1000 herds of cattle and you think such man is relying on government or on you to do something for him?
Former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Imo State, Prof Osuagwu said in an interview with us that the Fulani pose some existential threat in Nigeria, with the Igbo as chief targets of the threat. How true?
If you talk about Igbo people, they have even lost out on how to go about the Nigerian politics. They have been clamouring to have a slot at the Nigerian Presidency since 1999 to date, but for them, they don’t even know which bloc to approach in Nigeria. They don’t know the politics of give and take. Now, they blame almost everybody. They have been blaming the Yoruba, they have been blaming Hausa/Fulani, they have been blaming everybody everywhere. They have resorted to violence, training militias all over the South East. Those Fulani that are in the forests have seen those training camps. They therefore launched attacks on Fulani to chase them away so that nobody will see what they are doing.
There are also allegations that the Fulani have imperialist ambition. Do you agree with him?
When you talk of imperialism, have the Fulani ever ruled a local government in Igbo land? Have the Fulani ever fought any Igbo man to lead? Have we ever forced ourselves into office in Igbo land? All those Igbo people in Buhari government were part and parcel of Buhari campaign organisation. So I think the Professor is misusing words, and that is a sign of failure. If the Igbo want to play politics, let them play politics of appeasement. And all these things they are saying, the Fulani are at the receiving end, particularly the nomads. The nomads have no single person as a Senator. Only the Urban Fulani, the elite that can boast of this at the state level. Look at the government, even the federal and state governments no longer do annual vaccinations for the animals. So which Fulani is he talking about or referring to? We have told the Igbo that if they want to break away from Nigeria, they don’t need to be killing people to form Biafra. Let me refer them to what Odumegwu Ojukwu said: he said he proudly led the first Biafra war, but he said he cannot lead the second one. So the Igbo should have learnt lessons from the first Biafra war because the innocent blood of the people, of the nomads they are shedding will never help them. There is so much blood on their hands which have cursed them and they will not get what they want.
Are you saying that the Professor is ignorant of the history of the Fulani?
He doesn’t know anything about the history of the Fulani. He is a blind tribalist. He is blindly local. Sentiments will not take him anywhere. I doubt if he is a Professor to be reckoned with.
The Professor also alleged that the Fulani want to conquer and enslave the black race, and Buhari is committed to that. What is your reaction?
Let him go and talk to ministers who are Igbo working in Buhari’s government. Are they of the same views with him as a Professor? If he has something that is disturbing him he should stop using big grammar to attract unnecessary attention. That attention cannot help the Igbo. Let the Igbo reach out if they want to get the presidency. There was a time Northerners asked them to go if they want to go their separate ways. Let them go. And Northerners in the South were asked to return home. We told them to go, both the ones in the Diaspora. Somebody wants to jump, we offered them a push, they refused to jump up till today.
He also said that Nigeria will only survive if the Middle Belt is removed from the North, if the Yoruba in Kwara and Kogi join the West and if we go back to the 1963 Constitution. Do you agree with him?
How can I agree with him? Where was he when the 1963 was suspended and another Constitution was written? Where was he when another Constitution was amended? The 1979 Constitution is not even in existence again. It is the 1999 Constitution as amended that we are using. Let him not spit fire. Let him go to the National Assembly if he is talking about going back to the 1963 Constitution. He should not be prophetic. If he is relevant within his locality, let him go to the National Assembly and represent his people. Let those from the Middle Belt that are in the National Assembly move motions towards what he is saying. But I don’t think the Professor is in touch with those from the Middle Belt nor from his own locality. He is just creating a wrong impression.
The Professor also alleged that Boko Haram insurgency is the Fulani Caliphate doctrine to keep the Hausa blind and enslave them. How true?
We know all those kind of things; they want Hausa and Fulani to fight so that they will laugh at us. They want to cause a crisis for us. But they are too late to cause that havoc. They are too late and they are not intelligent enough to execute such plans. Even the Igbo that are living in the northern part of Nigeria are not sharing same view with him. The Igbo in the North know who is Hausa and who is Fulani. But those of them living far in the South are totally blind about what they want to say. They can ask their people in the North and they will tell them the difference between Hausa and Fulani. But no Fulani is fighting Hausa and no Hausa is fighting Fulani.