The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, one of the umbrella bodies of herdsmen in Nigeria, has said the political value of Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is shrinking, especially as the 2023 presidential election approaches, due to the actions of the South-West governors.
Saleh Alhassan, the spokesperson for Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, said this in an interview on Wednesday.
Herdsmen in the South-West geopolitical zone, have been accused of trespassing on farmlands of host farmers with their cattle in recent times, as well as raping women in host communities, kidnapping the rich and in some cases, killing host residents.
Following the escalating spate of insecurity in the region, governors in the zone under the aegis of the South-West Governors’ Forum, chaired by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, have come up with many proposed solutions including the prohibition of open grazing, night grazing, under-age grazing, amongst others.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, had been largely silent on the matter. He, however, issued his first statement on the matter on 13 March, urging state governments to convert unoccupied public lands to ranches for herdsmen.
But while lauding the APC National Leader’s recommendation, Alhassan insisted that Tinubu ought to have called the South-West governors, who he described as the former governor’s “political godsons”, to implement “progressive solutions”.
He stated that Tinubu is self-censoring himself from making a more robust intervention because any action he takes will be tied to his purported 2023 presidential ambition.
“I sympathise with him (Tinubu) because if he says more than what he is saying, they will say may be he is pushing for his presidential ambition. That is why he takes time before he even respond but I expected him to call all his political godsons —who are governors — that are causing this confusion to order,” Alhassan told the Punch.
“He should call them and say, ‘Hey, when I become president, I will solve this problem for us’ (and) not to create problem for him, for his ambition.”
When asked whether the farmers-herders crisis could affect the political ambition of Tinubu, Alhassan said: “When you have a group of people attacking citizens, does it translate to political love? When you have the supposed Amotekun joining militants to attack traders in Shasha (in Oyo State), burn their properties, does it give a good political value to whoever wants to get support from those people?”