Sultan seeks prosecution of rampaging herdsmen
•Monarch urges body to reunite repentant insurgents
•UN, ECOWAS parliament to protect rights of IDPs in Africa
Irked by the violent activities of Fulani Herdsmen in the country, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged the Federal Government to prosecute those found culpable.
He spoke in Kaduna yesterday at the opening of a two-day annual Pan-Northern Groups Summit on Security and Socio-Economic Development.
The sultan, who is a Fulani, said Nigerians must stop mistaking the devilish acts of the herdsmen as that of the Muslims or Fulani tribe.
Abubarkar urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately put government’s machinery in motion for their prosecution. He described their activities as threats to the peace and unity of the country.
He explained that the clashes between farmers and herdsmen are purely economic and not ethno-religious as speculated in some quarters.
He said: “There are very terrible herdsmen who kill, but they are acting on their own, they are criminals and they must be so treated.
“It is disheartening to hear when people say Fulani herdsmen want to Islamize Nigeria and that is why they are killing. Any herdsman who kills is not acting the script of Fulani community in Nigeria, neither is he working for the Muslim community.”
The sultan, who also spoke on the state of Northern Nigeria, said its unity is non-negotiable, if the region must develop and
have a common front.
He lamented that the north of today is not the one that the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello left behind, adding that there is ethnic awareness among northerners now, than ever before.
“The question is, why the sudden consciousness in ethnicity and religion? I will not attempt to provide the answer but we must strive to re-unite it, so that we can have a common
front and build a united and cohesive north,” he added.
He charged the governors of the region to address the decay in infrastructure, especially roads, instead of wasting billions of naira in constructing airports.
Meanwhile, the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Umar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi, yesterday urged the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) to reunite repentant members of the Boko Haram with the people.
He spoke in Maiduguri when the African Regional Director, Meridith Preston McGhie, paid him a visit at the palace.
He said the unity was essential, despite the insurgents’ destruction of lives and property in the state.
McGhie explained that the centre is an independent
international organisation with the mandate of providing support for a peace reconciliation process.
She said the delegation would hold talks with the people, especially now that the IDPs were returning to their ancestral homes.