President of Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, has condemned the labelling of the Fulani herdsmen as criminals.
He alleged that the name-calling was being instigated by some politicians and enemies of the Fulani to blackmail the ethnic nationality and cause unnecessary confusion. Bodejo, who spoke last weekend in Bauchi, said all forms of criminal activities, such as kidnapping, armed robbery shown on social media, were designed to paint the Fulani in bad light.
The association president noted that the incessant farmers and herders clashes were politicised, saying the misunderstandings between the two groups were age-longed. According to him, they have the traditional ways of resolving the issues.
He said: “You will see someone taking pictures from accident scenes and before you know, he would post them on social media, claiming Fulani herdsmen are responsible for the killings. It’s unfortunate.”
Bodejo said herders do not bear arms of any kind except the traditional sticks they have been known for.
On Ruga settlement, the Miyetti Allah leader faulted northern governments for “being insensitive” to the plight of Fulani herdsmen. He said:
“The Nigerian government has been insensitive to the plight of Fulani herdsmen across the country, despite contributing immensely to the nation’s economy through their business. Let the Federal Government bring back the grazing reserves across the country.
We have national and international cattle routes across the country, which have been taken away by modern roads. These are the rights of Fulani as citizens. I agree that cattle-rearing is a personal business, but governments must look for ways of easing business for these herders.
“If government can disburse billions of naira as loans to petty traders, who do personal businesses across the country, then they (governments) should also look at what they can do to help Fulani herders in their cattle-rearing business. It is a business that government at all levels must support them to do at ease.”