A former Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, has said it was not fair to term the Fulani as criminals. He added that Fulani herdsmen have the constitutional right to defend themselves, but not with AK-47.
He stated this on Monday after his All Progressives Congress membership revalidating exercise in Bauchi State.
According to Yuuguda, Fulani herdsmen provided most of the fund that brought about much development in the region. He noted that when the colonial masters came, they respected herders and provided them with routes and grazing reserves for their cattle.
Yuguda said the Fulani people in the country had been poorly treated for a long time, emphasising that “the Nigerian state has not been fair to these people (Fulani) over the years.
“This is a very sensitive national issue and given that I am a Fulani man when I make comments, people will think I am siding the Fulani; no, but I think the cattle rearers who have been herding for the past 200 years all over the country cannot just wake up in the morning and all of a sudden become AK-47 killers and most importantly, the neglect of the Fulani, especially the cattle rearers who are presently giving Nigerians a minimum of one million cattle to slaughter and take as beef, their treatment by the Nigerian states have been most unfair”.
“The neglect of the Fulani, especially the cattle herders who are presently giving Nigeria a minimum of one million cattle to slaughter daily, their treatment by the Nigerian state, has been most unfair.
“Most unfair in the sense that at the time Lord Lugard conquered Northern Nigeria and set up the government in Northern Nigeria, they were the only source of revenue.
“They provided the revenue that jumpstarted development in the North, including Benue State, where they have being chased out now.’
“They’re pastoralists. They’re people who provided beef for the country. You can see them as an agricultural venture. The Nigerian State has not been fair to these people.
“When the white man came, he respected them because they were the source of revenue.
“Not only that, he provided cattle routes for them but today, where are the grazing reserves? Where are the cattle routes and grazing reserves now
“Those in power never thought of resettling these people because if they had being settled down, you will have a dairy industry, beef industry because it’s a huge economy,” Yuuguda added.