The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence and fighting with farmers were not Nigerians but foreign terrorists.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abubakar said this in his Eid el-Kabir message to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria. According to him, these are foreigners coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace. He said: “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.” The Sultan, who noted with concern that some “bad eggs” had infiltrated the Fulani herdsmen, challenged security agencies to be proactive. He, however, acknowledged that there were problems between the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers, which should only be resolved through dialogue. The Sultan stressed the need for all Nigerians to live peacefully with one another, irrespective of any religious or ethnic differences. He said Nigeria would continue to lag behind, if there was 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. On the economic 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. Abubakar also commended the three tiers of government for their ongoing efforts to provide succour to Nigerians. He promised to continue to offer prayers, and provide counsel to the federal and state governments. NAN reports that the event was witnessed by second Republic President, Shehu Shagari, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, his deputy, Ahmed Aliyu, and Africa’s business mogul, Aliko Dangote, among other dignitaries.