Fulani herdsmen have dismissed threats by southern groups which gave them ultimatum to vacate all parts of the South South and South East latest Monday, May 2, 2016, to avert forceful eviction.
But, the herdsmen have responded to these notices by saying that no one has right to send them out of any part of Nigeria or constrain their grazing to particular areas as the entire federation belongs to all Nigerians, irrespective of their culture, tribe, or religion.
Several youth groups have given herdsmen ultimatums to vacate from their communities or they were ready to “protect their territories from Fulani herdsmen and their cattle”.
In separate interviews, representatives of Fulani herdsmen noted that it was wrong for people to restrict their movement as the constitution guaranteed their movement into any part of the country.
The chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MCBAN) in Plateau State, Mr. Nuru Abdullahi, said nobody could deprive Fulani herdsmen of their constitutional right of free movement.
Abdullahi said, “Why would they ask them not to go to the southern part of the country? It is their constitutional right to move freely as guaranteed by the laws of the land.
“What the various governments and security agencies should do is to prevent attacks and counter-attacks and such things that breed violence like cattle rustling and trespassing into farmlands.
“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees freedom of movement for every citizen of the country; this includes the right to live, work and carry out any legitimate activity in any part of the country.
“If and when you breach this freedom, then, the law should deal with you. So, asking anybody not to go to any part of the country is unconstitutional.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, is the life patron of MCBAN.
Monday, the federal government on Monday faulted the call by communities affected by the violence perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen for the militia to quit their communities as wrong.