We Won't Stop Carrying Daggers & Machetes - Leader of Fulani Herdsmen Speaks in Enugu Insists

Speaking on Wednesday while testifying at the commission of inquiry into the Nimbo killings by herdsmen in the Uzo Uwani local government area of Enugu, Ardo Basso, leader of the Fulani community in the state, said it is not possible to prevent herdsmen from carrying 'machetes and daggers'.
Basso who said so long as herdsmen do not harass residents as they can go about armed in residential areas and market places, however opposed to the carrying of guns, and called on security agencies to arrest those caught with firearms without licence.
“I don’t like the way our people carry guns but it is a police matter and any herdsman held carrying gun without licence should be arrested. But there is no how you will tell a herdsman not to carry dagger and machete.
“We use the machete to clear the road and rescue our cattle while the dagger is to promptly slaughter any cattle in distress if not it will be a terrible loss to us,” he said.
The herdsmen leader called on the state government to set up a biometric centre to register herdsmen in the state, saying Enugu had recorded an unprecedented influx of herdsmen, including Shua Arabs, whom he said, were strange to the Fulani community in the state.
He added that the influx of strange herdsmen had contributed to the heightened insecurity in many rural communities in the state, adding that some were moving freely without any form of identification.
“Before we enter any community we usually meet with traditional rulers and town union presidents of such communities and even with the police.
“But our brothers who come from other parts of the country to graze between the months of December through March just enter without telling anybody and these are the people causing trouble.
“I have lived in Enugu State for 34 years while some have been here for upwards of 40 years. Those of our people that live here don’t foment trouble in our locality.
“The major problems we have are the Fulani herdsmen and others that come into the state from Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Niger states,” he said.


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