He urged all Fulani herders to stay anywhere they want in Nigeria and carry out their legitimate businesses, saying that Nigeria belongs to all. The Miyetti Allah leader made the statement in reaction to the order by Afenifere for Fulani herders to leave the South West part of the country in view of the several cases of kidnapping and killings linked to some of them.
Bodejo berated Afenifere for getting involved in politics, saying the organisation should transform into a political party. He called on the Federal government to monitor the activities of Afenifere, cautioning that the socio-cultural group lacks the authority to drive Fulani herders out of Yoruba land.
His words: “Afenifere should know that they cannot chase away the Fulani from their place. Let them not try it because the Fulani have a right to stay anywhere they want. Let them allow peace to reign.
“The Federal Government should monitor the activities of Afenifere because Nigeria is one nation. The Inspector General of Police should protect the Fulani anywhere they are; it is their right to stay anywhere in Nigeria to carry out their legitimate businesses.
“It is better for Afenifere to change to a political party because they are playing politics. They are telling the Fulani to go back to the North because they are a minority tribe in the country.
“The Southerners are everywhere in the North and we have not asked anybody to leave and go back to the South because we believe in one nation. All these people that are saying that the herdsmen are the cause of all these killings in Nigeria, are they police officers?
“They have no right to say that the herders are the people committing crime because the police, the army and other security agencies are doing their best to address the situation. But unfortunately, some people are trying to divert the attention of the security agencies and create more problems and tension in the country. I do not know why they are doing what they are doing. The Fulani should not allow anybody to chase them away; they should stay anywhere they want in this country. The Fulani are always the victims in all these crises in the country.
“If you investigate all these crises, you will find out that the Fulani are suffering too much because they do not hear English and do not have links with the media. They are usually in the bush and that is why everybody can tell all manner of lies against them.
“The Northern group calling on the Fulani to come back to the North is doing that because of the political interest of their members; we insist that the Fulani should stay anywhere they want.”
At a press briefing on Wednesday, one of the leaders of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo had ordered the Fulani herdsmen to leave the South West or face the consequences. Adebanjo who spoke on behalf of the group also warned the National Assembly not to amend the Land Use Act with a view to empowering the Federal government to allocate state lands to the controversial Ruga settlement project for herders.