The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has attributed the rising cases of banditry in the country to the failure of governors to protect herders and their cattle.
The national secretary of the group, Saleh Alhassan, said some bandits were herders who became radicalised after they lost their cattle as a result of the ban by some state governors on open grazing.
Alhassan stated this in a live interview with Punch on Wednesday.
Alhassan also tackled the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for his position on the relocation of herders.
In January, Ganduje said there should be a law banning the movement of cattle from the north to the south.
The governor also said his administration was already constructing a settlement with houses, a dam, an artificial insemination centre, and a veterinary clinic for herders in a forest near Kano’s border with Katsina.
But in the interview, Alhassan described the governor’s statement as cheap political talk.
He added that putting such a plan in place is not as easy as “stuffing dollars” in one’s cloth.
Alhassan said, “Let him put in place the infrastructure. Kano is a semi-arid state. What has he provided even to the herders in Kano? Kano is a heavily cultivated area during the dry season. So, what alternative have you provided for the herders? It is not about cheap idle political talks. These are real issues.
“Like, I have the capacity to absorb 10,000 herders. This is what I have provided for them. This is where they will water their animals. This is where they will get their feeds. You don’t just come and say they should move to Kano. If they move to Kano, are they going to be in his government house? It is not stuffing dollars. I’m sorry to say that.
“The crisis of bandits in the North-West is because of some of the activities of the governors in the past. They put pressure on the herders. They lose their cattle. They have no business. Now, they have joined bandits. They are not spirits. They have reasons why they emerged. If you destroy grazing, you are going to create another problem. They destroyed their economy. They have no cattle and they got radicalised.
“Our members are peaceful herders. We have bandits; we have criminal elements in the forest. They are not necessarily herders. It is the responsibility of the security forces to identify the criminals, isolate them and deal with them according to the laws of the land. There are herders dwelling in the forest, doing their peaceful economic activities, which is cattle rearing.”