Leaders of 17 Fulani groups have formed a coalition to end the insecurity being perpetrated by some of their kinsmen, with the immediate past Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, stating that killer herdsmen had been transformed.
The Fulani leaders, including former Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda and Ganduje acknowledged that just as it is with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, there are bad eggs amongst the Fulani that engage in kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed militia activities.
Speaking at the maiden meeting of 17 Fulani groups that formed a coalition to confront the security challenges in the country and change the attitude of the Fulani to modern pastoralism, Ganduje said the killer herdsmen are now born again.“There must be a change in narrative. Nomadic education failed because of misunderstanding. We must change our attitude to benefit from the present government’s “Renewed Hope”. We must change our attitude to modern cattle rearing for more revenue,” Ganduje said,When asked which of the herdsmen are now born again, Ganduje said. it was those engaged in activities that are causing insecurity in the country.
“The herdsmen are born again. Their lives are important. They are now working for peace and stability. We are requesting the government to provide an enabling environment for the herders to do their businesses. We are convincing ourselves for peace to reign so that we can benefit from what the government is planning for us.“We want settlement, housemanship, livestock laboratories; market and security should be provided. We want education for the children of the herders,” Ganduje said, adding that they are embarking on citizen engagement to discourage the Fulani from banditry and other vices.“We want to convince ourselves that we are committed to peace and stability in Nigeria so that we can also benefit from the enabling environment provided by the federal government.
“We are requesting the government to provide an enabling environment that is sustainable for livestock production reform.“If herdsmen can agree to a modern system of livestock production, there is a need for settlement and settlement requires land, and after being resettled, there are other services provided to the communities of herdsmen: Livestock laboratories to be built, markets to be provided, sales of milk to be enhanced and also security to be provided, education for the children of the Fulani; this is a complete way of life and by doing so, we are improving the livestock production in Nigeria.“But this cannot happen until the livestock production is reformed and this cannot happen until the herdsmen themselves are convinced that they can adapt to the new system of production and this will eventually bring peace and stability,” Ganduje said.Also, former Governor Yuguda said the Fulani people with about 60 million people are the most profiled groups in Nigeria.
According to Yuguda, the Fulani people may not survive in Nigeria because of hatred if something is not done urgently.“We have various groups in the bush. Some are Fulani, some are not. But I can say that the majority of them are Fulani. “I interacted with the Fulani militia. Most of them are people whose parents were killed,” Yuguda said, adding that herdsmen in their 20s are now holding AK-47 rifles to defend themselves.“But some have also deviated into using such weapons for criminal activities,” he said.Yuguda also alluded to how cattle routes and grazing areas had been taken over as a result of growing population and blamed the government for inaction.“My personal interaction with some of the groups in the bush, those that I interacted with are not robbers, bandits, Boko Haram, Shiites but they’re Fulani ethnic militias, those are the ones I went to see inside the bush of Zamfara State.“Why I call them ethnic militias is because their parents, wives and children were killed in conflicts between Hausa extraction and Fulani.
“Most of them are innocent and their houses are raided, cattle rustled. They don’t have anything at hand but to pick up guns, go to the bush and start fighting themselves. If they get to know that a Fulani has been kidnapped, they also go out and kidnap others,” Yuguda said.
On his part, the national president of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Baba Ngelzarma, said they are working hard to ensure that they unite the Fulani leaders, adding that they lost over three million cows during the crisis.