Nigerian elite responsible for arming some herdsmen –Ibrahim, AFAN President

By Taiwo Ojoye

The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim, tells GBENRO ADEOYE how attacks on farmers by suspected Fulani herdsmen have been affecting the productivity of the members of his association

Farmers have been affected by incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen and this has gone on for some time, but not much has been heard from your association. Why is that?

We have made our points very clear on many occasions; once there is no peace, our productivity is affected. So we are praying for peace in Nigeria.

But even the Miyetti Allah groups, whose members are often accused of being responsible for the problem, have been speaking out in defence of their members. But your group has not been saying much about how it affects you and how you want government to protect your members and so on.

But we are not Miyetti Allah. Miyetti Allah, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, traditional rulers and religious leaders are meeting every day under (an initiative by) the United States Agency for International Development. We are on a committee and every day, we seek ways and means of stopping these misunderstandings. But you should know that there are other aspects of this thing that do not necessarily emanate from the so-called herders/farmers’ conflict. It is entirely politics in some respect. But wherever farmers encroach on the pathways of herders, there will be problems. And we tried in our own way to tell our people to leave those areas. But those areas are free now, so the conflict on their pathways is no longer there. But conflicts in some specific states in the North Central and the North-East are there and we are trying to see what they really are. Are they really herders/farmers’ conflicts or are some other things going on? But it is not for me to be the judge; I’m not a security operative but we are as affected by this as everybody else in Nigeria. We are not going to apportion blames here and there and we are not going to make unguarded statements, no. We will say the things we know for a fact. But when we think we need to talk to our people, we tell them that as farmers, they should maintain peace with the people around them. And if there is no peace, they cannot produce to their …read more

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