The Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday declared that killer herdsmen brandishing guns and other dangerous weapons are terrorists and should be treated as such.
In his Eid-el-Kabir message to the Muslim Ummah, the Sultan admitted that though Fulanis are peace-loving, a few of them were eroding the values the people of the ethnicity are known for, by engaging in crime.
He decried that Fulanis had recently, been erroneously labelled with violence in most parts the country, and insisted that Fulanis from Nigeria are peace loving and believe in peaceful coexistence.
The religious cum traditional ruler pointed out that the Fulani herdsmen that conspicuously wield dangerous weapons such as guns and continue to cause violence including fighting with farmers are foreign terrorists disguising as herdsmen
The Sultan, who admonished the country’s security agencies to take appropriate action against such herdsmen, added that such foreign Fulanis are simply interested in causing breach of peace in Nigeria.
“All those so called Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians. These are foreigners coming into Nigeria to cause breach of the peace of the nation.
‘’They are therefore terrorists and should be treated as such by the Nigerian security agencies. The Nigerian herdsmen are very peace-loving and law abiding, despite that some bad eggs have infiltrated the Fulani herdsmen,” Sultan Abubakar stated.
Continuing, the Sultan wondered why there should be altercations between farmers and herdsmen who are brothers and partners in progress.
He therefore advised that should any misunderstanding arise between the Fulani herdsmen and farmers, the parties should embrace dialogue in resolving the issues, rather than acting otherwise.
Speaking on the imperative of peaceful coexistence, the Sultan admonished Nigerians to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious, social, regional and ethnic differences, emphasising that if a country must develop, there is no alternative to peace.
“Nigeria would continue to lag behind if there is no peace and unity. Our diversity should be our strength and God has not made a mistake by creating us with diverse differences,’’ he said.
While noting that Nigerians are truly going through tough times, he said the hardship in the country called for patience and the need to embrace farming once more.
He advised Nigerians to also strive to be more productive, rather than solely waiting for the government to provide all their needs, while calling on leaders to be fair and practice justice amongst the led, irrespective of political differences.
The Sultan also admonished Nigerians to continue to pray for their leaders at all levels.