Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has highlighted how the Federal Government paved the way for the crisis between farmers and herders in the country.
Obasanjo said the crisis started when the Nigerian government treated the issue with a “cuddling glove instead of harmer.”
The former president stated this in a letter he addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.
In the letter, Obasanjo lamented that the crisis which has escalated into criminality has been linked to the Fulani tribe.
He, however, urged the Fulanis to come out with their grievances if they have any.
The letter reads partly: “Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times.
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“Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.”
In the past few years, Nigeria has witnessed a persistent crisis between herders and farmers in the country.
States like Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba, Ebonyi, Enugu and Oyo States have been the most affected by this crisis.
Several Nigerians have lost their lives to gunmen marauding as herders in the country.
Against the persistent attacks, some states had enacted the anti-open grazing law as part of efforts to stem the killings.
Just yesterday, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, vowed to take actions against killer herders invading the State.
Ortom had said the time of crying in the State was over because he would take action against the killers.