National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-cultural Association, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo has said that even Fulani cows are happy over the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in last Saturday’s election. In this interview with WILLY EYA, he gave reasons why the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost.
What is your reaction to the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in last Saturday’s election?
The game is finished and we are already in the Next Level. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has done a good job. As for me, since the last two weeks, I knew that President Buhari would win the election. He campaigned all over the country and the masses like him. Even if he did not go round and stayed in Abuja, he would still have won the election because of the love of people for him. It was obvious that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar was going to lose the election to Buhari. In my last interview with the Sun, I told you that Buhari would win the election. Since last two weeks, we had prepared cows that we want to use to celebrate the victory of Baba Buhari. What we are waiting for now is the governorship and House of Assembly elections. Some governors are good and they are supposed to come back but the people should vote out some governors who did not work. All those governors who are trying to create anti-grazing laws should lose their elections. Some of them are enemies of the country and the Fulani. We are praying that such people should lose the election. A governor like Samuel Ortom must lose this election like the way Atiku lost.
The PDP, which is the main opposition party has rejected the result of the election, claiming that the process was compromised; what is your reaction to that?
They made so much noise; many of them like Buba Galadinma carried so much propaganda but they were not on ground. However, if they have issues with the election, they should go to court. I advise them to join Buhari’s government and not waste their time. If you saw their campaigns, you would think that they were going to win the election but it is few people among them that deceived them to think that they have been accepted by Nigerians. One thing is that if you are a presidential candidate, you should not take any tribe for granted. If a tribe like the Fulani rejects you, you should know that you are finished. Whatever you are doing in the country, if you are not with the Fulani, it would not succeed.
The reason is that if the Fulani say yes to you, it means yes. Atiku lost the election but if he wants to go to court, he can do that; after all, the lawyers are there and they will be happy to get briefs from the PDP. It is a very clear election that they conducted and everybody saw it. Before, Buhari could not win Nasarrawa but this time he won it because of his popularity. Look at the campaign of Atiku; he said he would sell the NNPC if he is elected; how can he say that? Is it his personal property? He also said he wants to do anti-grazing law. Which kind of leader is that? You will sell NNPC and ban the Fulani from grazing. You said the Fulani are killing people and you want to win election.
Now that President Buhari has won a second term in office, what should be your advice to him?
This time, President Buhari has to check the people around him very well. Not all of them are giving him good advice. I believe that by now, he already knows those who like Nigeria and those do not like Nigeria. It is now that the real change will come. I believe that Baba will bring a lot of change to Nigeria. Even the cows in the bush are now happy and will know that very soon, change will reach them. Today (Wednesday), when I wanted to harvest milk from my cow, I noticed that it was double what I used to get. Through that, I know that something good is coming to the country. So, even the cows are happy and feeling that change has come. Before now, after every election, you used to have all manner of crises but since Buhari won, you can see that everywhere is calm. Everybody is very happy; some are dancing and killing animals to do sacrifice. We, the Fulani are praying for him and that he should remember us. The Fulani are really suffering; they are killing the Fulani everywhere but we cannot leave President Buhari. We believe in him. He is our son, father and grandfather. I urge him to remove all the people around him who are enemies of his administration. During the campaigns, many people including Atiku were trying to poison the minds of the Fulani that Buhari did not do anything for us. We understood that Buhari entered government at a time that everything had spoilt in the country. I believe that Buhari is going to do a lot now. So many people tried to use money to buy us but we believe in Buhari. We are praying that Buhari will listen to the leadership of the Fulani.
You are already talking about what Buhari should do for the Fulani but many accuse him of not carrying other Nigerians along. Don’t you think he should be more inclusive?
When President Olusegun Obasanjo was in power, what happened? Did he carry everybody along? During his time, were it not only Yoruba people that were ruling the country? The national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, is he not from Osun State. Is Prof Yemi Osinbajo not from Ogun State? Former governor of Lagos State, Fashola has three ministries; many of them are in this administration. If your people are given positions in the government, rather than complain about Buhari, you should complain about those of your people in government who are not doing anything. You cannot blame Buhari because one thing about him is that if he believes in you, he believes in you. You do not expect him to go to the village to research on who is helping his people or not. I know that in his second term, he will carry out some changes in his cabinet because some of them are not doing well. He will carry out changes to ensure unity in the country. He knows everybody including those who are trying to spoil his government. You know Buhari is very intelligent and he follows the procedure gradually.
You are one of the leaders of the Fulani people and you should know their history. The question is why is Buhari so popular among your people?
The reason why he is popular, I will tell you. In the North, if you are an elder and you make your gates open, interacting and eating with everybody, people will like you. For some people, the moment they have opportunities, they will buy an SUV with tinted glasses, cover the plate number and make the fence of their house so high so that nobody can enter there. They will put like three guards in their house. They will lock their house and make sure that they do not have anything to do with the people. But if you know Buhari’s life, it is not like that. He is a ‘Sarkin Fulani’ person. For the Fulani, if you carry them along, they will believe you and follow you. Buhari does not care about the riches of this world. He believes in acquiring what only God gives him. He does not believe in acquiring unnecessary wealth. He lives the life of a common man and rearing cows like every Fulani man. How many Generals have you seen that will go to the village and stay with his people? You cannot see anybody who was a military president and relocate to the village to stay. Before he became civilian president in 2015, if you go to his house in Kaduna, I visited him once and when I saw him I was saying is this person the Buhari that everybody is talking about. I went to his house and he was in one simple parlour and I greeted him, and after we finished, he saw me and another person I took to his house to the gate. I do not think any General can do that kind of thing in the country. His colleagues, before you can see them, you will have to go through so many uniformed men with guns.
For him, he can go to the mosque and greet everybody. He will sit down with everybody and do everything. So, all of us who joined him now can die with him. He may not give you money but he will show you love and do things that our unborn generation will come and benefit from. See when he was the chairman of PTF, he made sure that he established a good plan that will benefit everybody. He did not make the plan for himself but for the entire country. Right from that time, he started how to fight the problems of the Fulani people through the establishment of grazing reserves. They are very few like him. If you can get somebody like him in Yoruba land and Igbo land, Nigeria will be good. Now that he is in power, he has been trying his best to ensure that Nigeria is better.
Now that he has won another term, what do you think he will do to end the farmer/herders clashes?
Like I said before, if Buhari appoints you as a Minister, he wants you to perform in that ministry. We believe that in his second term, the farmer/herders clashes will end. The Minister of Agriculture wanted to start the cattle colony and grazing reserve and people started to shout like they wanted to give the whole Nigeria to the Fulani. If he wants to sign anything with regards to the cattle colony or grazing reserve, people will begin to shout as if he wants to give the whole Nigeria to the Fulani. But I believe that this time, Buhari will end the farmer/herders clashes.