The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III on Monday described the herdsmen causing violence as “foreign terrorists”, saying Nigerian herdsmen are peace-loving.
The monarch, who is the spiritual head of Muslims in Nigeria, said this in his Eid el-Kabir message.
“The Nigerian herdsmen are very peace-loving and law abiding,” he said.
“The so-called Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians,
“Foreigners are the ones coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace. They are therefore terrorists and should be treated as such by the Nigerian security agencies.”
Abubakar acknowledged that there were problems between the Fulani herdsmen and farmers, but recommended that the disagreements should be resolved through dialogue.
The monarch emphasised the need for all Nigerians to live peacefully with each other, irrespective of any religious or ethnic differences.
The Sultan also underscored the imperative of sustainable peace, if the country was to fully develop.
“Nigeria would continue to lag behind if there is no peace and unity,” he said.
“Our diversity should be our strength and God has not made a mistake by creating us with diverse differences.”
On the “hardship” in the country, the Sultan appealed to Nigerians to go back to the farms.
He also urged Nigerians to learn to be more productive, rather than solely waiting for the government to provide all their needs.
The monarch promised to continue to offer prayers, and provide wise counsel to the federal and state governments.
The event was witnessed by second republic President Shehu Shagari, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto; Ahmed Aliyu, deputy governor; Aliko Dangote, and Africa’s business mogul.