Over the years, national and international courts have prosecuted a good number of political leaders who incite others to commit acts of violence that have engendered war, terrorism, and genocide.
For example, a federal court in the United States sentenced Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an al-Qaeda propagandist, in 2014 to life imprisonment for what his defense attorney called “mere talk”.
Even in Africa, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Rwanda Genocide convicted eight persons, including a radio broadcaster and a Rwandan pop star for public incitement.
The huge punishment meted by international tribunals to individuals who promote and incite violence shows why the global community sees it as a dangerous crime against humanity.
In Nigeria, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) or otherwise called Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, in the last decade have shown that they are nothing but purveyors of dehumanising statements aimed at inciting one region of the country against another.
Miyetti Allah has been in the news since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for so many negative reasons.
One of the speeches that the Fulani socio-cultural association made that almost plunged the #EndSARS protest into a civil war was their allegation that some ethnic groups were planning to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The association brought in ethnic and regional coloration to the protest by claiming that some people from other regions were trying to intimidate the North to give up its rights to rule till 2023 and beyond.
The National President, Miyetti Allah, Abdullahi Hello Bodejo, frontally without showing any evidence, accused the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu of being the major financier of the protest.
The group mischievously called on the sponsors of the protest which it claimed was headed by the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to immediately stop the demonstration.
Miyetti Allah claimed that the game plan of Tinubu was to bring down the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari since he cannot realise his presidential ambition any longer.
In a statement credited to the leadership of Miyetti Allah, “We will hold him accountable should anything happen to President Buhari’s administration. To avoid this, he must immediately put the protest to an end while the Federal Government put in modalities to address the challenges confronting the nation.”
Many groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and FCT Abuja saw the dangerous antics of Miyetti Allah and called for the arrest of its National President, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, for making comments capable of causing mayhem in the country.
Bodejo’s inciting statements on behalf of Miyetti Allah are vast and varied. He was reported to have declared that the Fulani owned Nigeria and will rule the country forever.
It was also reported that he said his organisation had concluded arrangements to flag off its security outfit with about 5,000 to 100,000 vigilante volunteers to be deployed across all the states of the federation.
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Recently, Miyetti Allah provocatively asked the Federal Government to make a constitutional provision that would enable them take over security in the Southeast as a panacea to the nefarious activities of their fellow herdsmen in the region.
In 2018, the group came out boldly to explain why herdsmen were allegedly involved in attacks that led to the death of at least 86 people in 11 communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The chairman of the association’s north-central zone, Danladi Ciroma, alleged that the indigenous Berom youths had been stealing cows from herdsmen, with about 300 cows lost to cattle rustling in the area.
He said security agencies can only stop the incessant clashes between herdsmen and the local communities when they bring cattle rustlers to justice. Danladi Chiroma excused the attacks by herdsmen as retaliatory.
Also, the group at a time called for the arrest of the former president Olusegun Obasonjo for saying that Fulanis were responsible for herders/farmers crisis in the country. The secretary of the group advised the Federal Government to take decisive action against all divisive elements and their sponsors causing instability in the country, adding that Obasanjo wants to destabilise the government.
Another shocking declaration from Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore was on banditry. The association stated that displaced herders in the country who were dispossessed of their cows were the bandits terrorising Nigerians, especially through kidnapping. The association stated boldly that the bandits will not let go of their arms if they are not assured of their safety and rehabilitation.
Spokesman of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Hassan, who stated this on behalf of the body said it was unfair to label every herder a criminal as the herders cum bandits were fighting an economic fight of survival.
According to him, states banning open grazing and chasing out herders from their domains were the ones unknowingly creating security crisis for themselves.
It is only an association like Miyetti Allah, bent on creating conflict and endless crises, that can boldly make warped declaration, as well as perverse analysis and interpretation of very sensitive national issues that should, otherwise, be handled with moderation to enhance national peace and unity.