Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has said some Nigerians are unaware that ethnic leaders are deliberately creating an ethnic spin concerning the activities of Fulani herdsmen in order to vent their anger and frustration against the current political system of the country.
Keyamo said this in a post on Twitter on Monday in reaction to the rising ethnic tension in the South-West, especially following the clash that occurred last Friday between some supporters of Sunday Adeyemo, a Yoruba nationalist popularly known as Sunday Igboho, and the Fulanis in Iganga, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The minister, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), admitted that there are some herdsmen who are criminals, adding that they must be dealt with according to the law.
He, however, insisted that some of the prominent ethnic leaders who have been vociferous in their opposition against the herders are only doing so because their personal political ambitions have not materialised under the current administration.
Youths said to be supporters of Sunday Igboho reportedly attacked communities occupied by the Fulanis in Iganga, situated in Ibarapa North LGA on Friday, killing three people and setting ablaze properties in the process.
The youths were allegedly executing Igboho’s order to evict all persons of Fulani extraction away from the community after a seven-day ultimatum, which expired on Friday.
The action has led to various northern groups, including Miyetti Allah and the Arewa Consultative Forum, calling for those who perpetrated the act to be held accountable and warning that retaliatory attacks could be launched by the Fulani if concrete decisions are not made by both the Federal and state governments.