The National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Benue State, Alhaji Garus Gololo, has described the call for the interrogation of the leadership of Miyetti Allah by former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), over killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen as uncalled for and unbefitting of an elder statesman.
He said the former head of state was only speaking for the people of the Middle Belt, adding that the killings were not limited to the region.
Gowon, had last week in Makurdi, condemned the killings in the Middle Belt, demanding that Miyetti Allah leaders be invited for questioning.
But the Miyetti Allah leader in Benue State said it was wrong for Gowon to have called for their arrest because they had not done anything criminal to warrant being invited by the police for questioning.
“I don’t understand what Gowon meant because it is only criminals that the police can invite. If that is the case, who should be questioned in Zamfara, Borno, Rivers and Lagos where there have also been killings?
“Just yesterday, four people were killed in Zamfara, who should the police invite? To me, it is very unfortunate for a former Head of State to have made such inciting comments.
“What about the people who blocked roads in Jos and killed people; who have questioned them? And what about those people who were burnt to ashes and removed from vehicles in the Middle Belt, who have questioned those that killed them? Our people were burnt in vehicles at Daudu area in Benue State, who is to be questioned?
“As far as I’m concerned, we are cattle breeders, we are peace lovers, we support peace and we will continue to preach peace. Honestly, I’m not happy with his comments and I’m disappointed.
“No Miyetti Allah member would honour any invitation from the police in respect of any killings. Invitation? What for?
“They would call you just because you are leading an organisation and something happened in any state; is that how things are done?
“We are a registered organisation and we don’t have any dealing with the police as far as I’m concerned because we have a very robust and cordial relationship with them. The police cannot invite us because of a request made by someone because we’re friends with the police,” Gololo said.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the state police command to say whether it will invite leaders of Miyetti Allah in the state for questioning or not were not successful.
The spokesperson for the command, DSP Moses Yamu, did not return calls or reply messages sent to his telephone.