Nigerians on Friday raised and started signing a petition to designate Fulani herdsmen, some of whose activities have generated tension in the South-West and South-East of late, as terrorists.
The petition was addressed to the United States President, Joe Biden, the United Nations Organisation, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the European Union.
According to the online petition titled, “To proscribe Fulani herdsmen, militants, and Miyetti Allah as terrorists,” which needs only 200 signatories and has reached 107 as of Monday morning, the petitioners alleged that the Nigerian government had been expressing undue sympathy for the killer herdsmen.
It added that the Muhammadu Buhari-government had refused to come up with tangible solutions in the face of growing herdsmen’s violence across the country.
“The government of Nigeria has obviously shown sympathy for the killer herdsmen, by turning a blind eye to their terrors and supporting them with Nigerian resources, including the Nigerian military.
“The only way to expose these terrorists is for the relevant authorities all over the world to act and act fast. This petition is for the Fulani herdsmen and militants and their association called Miyeti Allah to be proscribed as terrorists. Swift response will save lives and property and stop their menace from escalating into other nations of the world,” the petition partly reads.
Just last Monday, the governors of the South-West had met in Ondo State capital, Akure, on Monday following the insecurity in the region and had banned all forms of open grazing in the region.
The decision was taken also in consultation with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as well as the outgone security chiefs.
Apart from the governors of South-West; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; there were also; Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa State, and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State.
Governor Makinde, who gave the report of the meeting, had said, “Today, the South-West governors held a security stakeholders’ meeting in Ondo State. The meeting was attended by our brother governors from Kebbi and Jigawa States; security chiefs, SW zone led by the AIG Zone 11 and leaders from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
“Collectively, we resolved to ban open grazing in all parts of the South-West. In Oyo State, we already have a law against open grazing which will continue to be implemented by our security agencies.”
Also two weeks ago, the Ondo State Government and MACBAN had agreed that children being used as herdsmen would henceforth be arrested by Amotekun operatives and their families made to pay a fine to the government.
SaharaReporters had also reported that the meeting agreed that herdsmen should return to the various local government areas and meet with the authorities to fish out the bad eggs and criminals among the herders.
The herdsmen’s crisis had also ravaged the Ibarapa LGA in Oyo State, with the Seriki Fulani of Igangan forcefully evicted by Igangan residents after a popular Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, more commonly called Sunday Igboho, had visited the town and issued a seven-day ultimatum to the killer herdsmen.
There have been growing calls and condemnation of the herdsmen’s violence across the country, but the Presidency had maintained that herdsmen should not be asked to leave any state, although it had not proffered any tangible solution to the widespread insecurity.