Othman Ngelzarma, the National Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has distanced the organization from threats made by a Fulani group to attack various areas in Delta State.
He also termed the threat as an attempt by the anonymous group to tarnish the image of Fulani herdsmen in Southern Nigeria.
In response to the warning, the militant group Movement for the Emancipation and Defense of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it would retaliate by launching three rocket launchers and ballistic missiles at any location in the north.
The Fulani group had vowed to infiltrate and bomb Asaba, the state capital, and Agbor, the headquarters of the state’s Ika South local government area. Governor Okowa was given 72 hours to express his opinion and support for the open grazing prohibition.
Governors of states in the country’s southern region convened in Asaba in May 2021 to discuss the country’s growing insecurity epidemic, and they resolved to prohibit open grazing.
However, in a Channels TV interview, Ngelzarma stated that the group’s threat should not be taken seriously and that it was made by mischief-makers.
Ngelzarma claimed that the gang is threatening pastoralists and Fulani people in order to smear their image.
He did clarify, though, that the resolution against open grazing is aimed at the Fulani who live in the country’s south.
“Such statements that come from faceless unknown groups shouldn’t be given any serious consideration. I believe this statement must be coming from mischief-makers, people who are out to tarnish the image of the Fulanis and pastoralists.
“It is because of such negative profiling by the media that makes us believe that the anti-open grazing laws being intended to be promulgated by the southern states are not laws stopping open grazing, but I believe these laws are laws against Fulanis living in the southern part of the country.
“The Northern governors must be up and doing and they must also begin to open discussions with their southern counterparts for them to put their heads together and come up with a solution that can work for both the north and the south,” he said.
“Respecting the fundamental human rights of the pastoralists as citizens. Their right to movement, their right to pray, their right to trade, their right to liberty.”