Should herdsmen residing in forests reserves across Southern states are evicted back to the North, Southerners residing in the Northern region must be sent packing also, the umbrella body of herders, Miyetti Allah has said.
The Bauchi State chapter of the cattle rearers stated this on Sunday while maintaining the claim that pastoralists own the country.
Criminal activities of herders have recent pitched them against most of their host communities, a situation that has led to issuance of quit notice by state and non-state actors.
Alhaji Sadiq Ahmed, the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), who gave the warning yesterday in an interview with The Nation said they will resist being evicted out of Southern forests reserves.
Mr Ahmed said should they fail, other law abiding Nigerians of Southern extraction living in the North will also be evicted in retaliation.
“Everyone has the right to live anywhere he or she wants,” he said, “In fact, herdsmen, based on their activity of pastoralism, own every part of Nigeria. So why should anyone go against the constitution?
“If the southern governors insist on sending our people away, we will have no option than to send their people packing too.
“We are no fools. We are only studying the situation. We are all human beings.
“If the leaders want to cause problems, they should not forget about the ordinary citizens.
“For now, we will remain loyal and we will also educate our people on the need for peaceful cohabitation. We won’t act like the foolish governors.
“If the custodians of law say there is no law, then are we the ones to uphold the law? We are only trying to protect our integrity for now.
“Besides, we can survive on our own because we produce our own food. Aside former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the Southwest, who else can feed up to 100 people?” he queried.