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Sultan of Sokoto cautions against criminalising Fulani ethnic group


The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has advised Nigerians to stop ‘stereotyping’ Fulani people as killers following recent violent attacks and killings by herdsmen in parts of the federation. 

He stated that it was wrong to criminalise every Fulani in the country, noting that not all herdsmen were Fulani cattle rearers as being perceived in certain quarters.

Abubakar, who spoke at book presentation titled Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences in honour of the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Professor Is-haq Oloyede in Abuja, condemned the killings. He added that was not a sufficient ground to stigmatise people from the ethnic group. 

“Nowadays, the worst word you can hear is Fulani. There are millions of Fulani that do not even own a cow. I am a very proud Fulani but I am never a herder. When you see a Fulani man, he is termed killer. 

“There are millions of non-Fulanis that are herdsmen. So, to stereotype a particular ethnic group as criminals is wrong. There are criminals all over the world.” 

Admitting that things are not working well in the country, Abubakar, however, noted that it was the responsibility of all to bring Nigeria back on track in an atmosphere devoid of hatred and bias.

He lamented that the nation had lost statesmen, hence according to him, the fault lines that divide the people are readily played up by supposed leaders for selfish ends.

However, the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria (ADSN) says the cattle colony proposal by the Federal Government is a misnomer, stating that every herder should instead acquire land legally for grazing activities as a measure to resolving the clashes between farmers and nomads in the country.

According to its national president, Alhaji AbdulLateef Olufemi Okunnu, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has not shown enough commitment to end the crisis.

He appealed to the feuding parties to sincerely resolve their differences in a round table.

The legal practitioner called on Buhari to be decisive, saying: “The Federal Government’s concern for the safety of Nigerians is not encouraging. Obviously, with the herdsmen/farmers’ rampage and carnage recorded in Benue and Taraba states as well other parts of the country, the President has not done well to provide the needed protection for the citizenry.”

Okunnu stated that the government does not have an imperial power to create a colony in any state.

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