National Protem Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Mallam Sale Bayeri, has blamed the Plateau State Government for the persistent attacks on some villages in Plateau North.
He said the inability of the state government to initiate meaningful dialogue between the warring factions had further strained the fragile relationship in the area.
He said the state government had not risen to the reality of solving the problem as Bauchi, Taraba and Benue states did.
Bayeri said, “You see the problem is an old one. For a very long time, dating back to living memory, no Berom person or any other tribe on the Plateau would tell you that his parents or grandparents told them that this was the day the Fulani arrived in Plateau. This is because as far as we know, animal husbandry came into existence before farming.
“The point I am trying to make is that cattle-rearing started before farming. This part of the world has been conducive to cattle-rearing from the beginning of time.
“So the Fulani being migratory do not stay for one place for a very long time. So the Fulani man must have been here for a million years but his stay and movement is still seasonal.
“The Fulaniman has never been a land agitator at all. So the nature of his job does not allow him the luxury of owning any land anywhere. He is not like the Hausa man who came for tin mining or whatever and are trying to claim ownership of lands or agitating for political rights.
“So now because of ethnicity and religious difference, the moment there was tension in Jos in 2001, these people forgot that the Fulani have been part and parcel of them from time immemorial and they don’t share the same sentiments as the people residing in Jos that are Muslims.”