Sunday Mbang, the Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church Nigeria, has said the herdsmen crisis in the country worsened because the current administration failed to effectively resolve the issues raised by affected Nigerians of other tribes.
Speaking in an interview, Mbang said the Fulani herdsmen are disturbing other Nigerians in other parts of the country, especially the southern part, with some of their activities but that instead of the Federal Government to condemn such actions, it is giving itself a pass mark.
The 84-year-old cleric noted that if the recent uproar by some northerners residing in the south demanding to return home is anything to go by, then the southerners in the north should also return home.
He noted that Nigerians may finally be in peace if the country is separated.
“The other day, people said there was no more corruption in Nigeria. Today, Al Jazeera was showing us how corrupt Nigeria is on the news. When I read Shakespeare in secondary school, I read that you cannot discover yourself; it’s somebody else that discovers you. So, when the Federal Government gives itself pass marks in everything, it becomes another thing. Unless we decide to say the truth, it will not be well,” Mbang told the Punch.
“The Fulani herdsmen are disturbing (other citizens). The fact is that there are a lot of northerners living in this part of the country and nobody is disturbing them, but this group of people (Fulani) are disturbing everybody. Instead of facing the fact and saying, ‘We condemn this,’ you are saying every northerner should return home. For me, if the northerners want to return, let them go and send back our people in the North. Then the country will be divided into areas; maybe when we do that, everybody will live in peace.”
Mbang noted that the herdsmen crisis slowly became a problem in the country as the relevant authorities allowed cows to be treated like human beings without any proper regulation.
He questioned why cattle are allowed to roam around in towns, noting that the Federal and state governments should instead create special grazing areas where all needed facilities and amenities for both cows and herdsmen are put in place.
He said: “What are herdsmen doing with cattle at Itam (Akwa Ibom)? We allowed cows to become human beings. If we did not allow cows to be treated as human beings, we wouldn’t have had this problem. In Nigeria, something will start slowly and people will clap for it until it becomes a problem and they start shouting. Why do we allow cows to become like men in the town? If you go into town, even Abuja that was just built recently, cows are still everywhere.
“We are the architects of our problems. We have not created jobs for our children; we build schools but we don’t plan what students will do when they graduate. There is no plan. And if the government does not take what happened a few months ago, the #EndSARS protests, as a warning, they are deceiving themselves; because that was a warning. The young people were angry and decided to react in anger. Rather than learn a lesson from there, you are threatening to punish them. The day the second one starts, we would have nothing called Nigeria.”