The Coalition of Pastoralists Association (CPAN) Tuesday said between last October and January this year, 421 of its members were killed and over 7,000 cattle were rustled or confiscated by either security agents or vigilantes” in Nasarawa, Taraba, Niger and Kaduna States.
In a statement jointly signed by leaders of six different Fulani groups, the association alleged that a lot of Nigerians, especially sub-national entities across the country, had adopted the culture of intolerance towards the Fulani community and cattle rearing.
The statement read in part: “We’re not happy as our business is suffering massively from the conspiracy of the government and other Nigerians.
“The Fulani have been the target of stereotypes, ethnic cleansing and mass murder in almost all states of the Federation. From Zamfara in the North-West to Adamawa, Taraba in the North-East, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa in the North-Central, down to Ondo and Oyo in the South-West, or worse still the South-Eastern states, the Fulani people have been a subject of hatred, annihilation for unjustifiable reasons.
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“From our records, since 2017 or thereabout when Mr President gave the nod to Samuel Ortom to enforce his Anti-Open Grazing Law in Benue, many Fulani were forced to flee the state while thousands of livestock were either killed or rustled.
“In the same period, over 3,000 Fulani herders have been murdered in cold blood with thousands more sustaining injuries, some incapacitating.”
The association, among other things, demanded that security be provided to all law-abiding Fulbe citizens living in parts of Benue and all its neighbouring states.
It also sought “empaneling of an independent judicial commission of enquiry to identify, investigate, arrest and prosecute all individuals and entities involved in the murder, expulsion, cattle rustling, livestock kidnapping and extortion of our members in Benue and neighbouring states since 2017 when the Anti-Open Grazing Law was enacted and enforced in Benue State.”