As the #EndSARS protests continue across the country with trails of blood, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, has called on the federal government to deploy soldiers to crush the protesters.
In an interview with VINCENT KALU, the leader of the Fulani Socio-Cultural Association pointed out that the protests were meant to bring down President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, fingering top politicians from the South.
For over two weeks, Nigerian youths have been protesting to end police brutality, what is your view on this?
I supported EndSARS protest hundred per cent because most members of the Federal State Anti Robbery squad of the Nigeria Police are inhuman. They have been very brutal to my Fulani people. The recent case we have at hand in Nasarawa State is that they shot to death a 90-year-old man in the presence of his children for no just cause. Across the country, they have been collecting huge sums of money from our people, especially if they know these people have sold cows. They arrest our people on flimsy reasons and demand between N500, 000 and N600, 000 for bail before they would release the person; they have been hard on our people.
So, when the protest against SARS started, I was very happy because I saw it as the liberation of my people from these wicked security men. However, after few days of protests, with the federal government heeding to the demands of these young protesters by scrapping SARS, yet they continued, it then shows there was more to EndSARS that many people didn’t know. There is a hidden agenda in the protests. Following the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu disbanded the outfit, were the protesters not supposed to have retired to their respective homes, but they added other things to their lists; demanding for other things that were not in their original agenda or request. Today, I wanted to travel, after being on the road for six hours because they blocked everywhere, I missed my flight. Which kind EndSARS is this?
From all indications, not just politicians, but a desperate politician in the Southwest is behind this movement, that is why we are no longer keeping quiet, and we have decided to let the nation know what is happening because most people were not aware or have not read meaning into what is happening. It is no longer protest; a desperate politician who felt he has lost out in the 2023 scheme is drumming for these our youths.
Why are you making such allegation?
It is not hidden; political analysts are saying the same thing. It is not hidden in the political circles. At first, the protest was very genuine and that was why, it is supported wholeheartedly, but from what we have been hearing and by the time we sat down to think, we realised that somebody was behind, giving supports to these our youths that are blocking everywhere in the FCT, Abuja, and other places. The highest a genuine protest can last is probably three days, especially this one that the federal government has acceded to the demand of the protesters, but this one is getting to two weeks.
They are disrupting the genuine activities of Fulani; they are blocking everywhere our people pass through with their cattle. Since the federal government has met with their genuine demand and they have continued to disturb the peace of the nation, the federal government shouldn’t hesitate any further to deploy soldiers and other security agencies to crush them before it gets out of hand and leads to another thing. We can’t continue like this, where we won’t move, we won’t travel, and if a person is dying no way to take him or her to the hospital.
Your people, the herdsmen are said to live in the bush with their cattle, how has this protest affected them?
The moment people gather and they are shouting; if you gather up to one hundred people in one place and they are shouting and if cows are around the place, maybe, few kilometres away, the cows will start running away, they will think that something is happening and their lives are in danger, and they become uncontrollable for the herders to handle. All our people in Kuje area, Maraba axis, and Kubuwa are bringing complaints against these protesters. Over 700 cows have been lost, as they have run inside the bush because of the noise they were hearing. That is why herdsmen stay many kilometres away from the village to avoid the cows being disturbed by the noise they hear; cows are not comfortable with noise. Even today, I received call from one Arorajanga that some cows ran away to enter people’s farms, and they have refused the herdsmen to control them because they are now scared of everybody.
Before, we didn’t want to talk, but as the protesters have another thing in mind, we decided to talk, and among other things protect our business. On the left and right of Maraba-Nyanya road are areas you have cows, but the noise for the past days had disturbed Fulani and their cows.
What are you going to do now, since the youths say the protest must continue?
We are calling on the federal government, so long as all the genuine demands of this EndSARS have been met, the government should deploy the army and quell the riots before they do anything that the Buhari administration will regret. Like I said earlier, even the herdsmen in the bush are the number one victims of SARS and police brutality; they don’t show any atom of mercy when it concerns our people. I have evidences; I have many pictures and other things to show on how they have been so merciless to our people.
The government has disbanded SARS, so what is the problem of these youths again? Is it to bring down the government to satisfy the interest of their sponsor? The government has cooperated with them. While calling on President Buhari to stop these protests with every force available, we the entire Fulani in Nigeria and in West Africa also implore him to extend the IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu’s tenure to another five years because he is a core professional and has listening ears to people’s problems. See how he directed the police not to use force on the protesters and has disbanded SARS, and yet these protesters don’t want to reciprocate the gestures; they want to tell him that he doesn’t know anything or he is inefficient. Instances abound where some policemen went on illegal duties and arrested some Fulani, the IGP would order their immediate release. No any IGP did that for us before. That is why we plead with Mr. President to extend his tenure for him to continue with his good works. See how he is tackling issue of insecurity with community policing model; see how he has scrapped the SARS that has been killing the Fulani, may God bless him.
But, people accuse the SARS of working with the herdsmen. According to them, whenever cows destroy farms and there is conflict, the SARS men would come to defend the herdsmen
God will punish those farmers for saying that; they are evil. It is not true; instead it is communities that collaborate with SARS to arrest our people and cause them to pay huge sums of money for bail. There is one case now in Nasarwa State, though it has not been officially reported to my office. One farmer said cows entered his farm, he was trying to use SARS to collect N4 million from the owner of the cow and the person has been selling his cows to raise the money. If a cow eats a little grass in a person’s farm, they will collaborate with this security outfit to arrest the herdsman, detain him until he pays a huge amount of money. How can you then say SARS is protecting our people? We are the number one victims; there is no doubt about that. It is not true that they were protecting us.
You are calling on the president to release soldiers to quell the protests; don’t you think it will escalate the problem?
The country is more important than anybody. We have law and order, how can you be destroying people’s property in the name of protest, of which the issue has been addressed. The other day, I saw fire burning some vehicles at APO; you are vandalizing innocent people’s cars, some of the owners were sick and were going to hospitals; some people are missing their fights and other appointments. We shouldn’t tolerate more of this.
It is not only in the South and Abuja, but the protests are also happening in Kano, Kaduna and other Northern states
I know about that. Those people protesting in the North were deceived that it was EndSARS movement; they didn’t know that they were being deceived and used, as there was a hidden agenda behind the whole thing. It is beyond EndSARS. They were deceived thinking that it was just about protest against police brutality.
It is the desperate politician deceiving them; as he felt that he has lost out in his 2023 bid, so he is looking for ways to cause confusion everywhere.
Nigerians in America and Britain are also protesting. You think any politician is also directing them?
Nothing concerns them; some of them have stayed there for over ten years, they don’t know what is happening in Nigeria; if they like let them start jumping. Why didn’t these people want to end SARS during Jonathan time, why didn’t they demonstrate to end SARS during Obasanjo government? It is now they want to end SARS; it is now that a Fulani, Buhari is there that everybody remembers that SARS is evil.
This desperate politician that has hand in this will not succeed, he would be put to shame, and if he should contest local government election, he would fail. Nigerians are maturing politically that when they see or notice anybody desperate for power, they will not support such a person. How can they support somebody who releases yahoo yahoo boys in the streets?