Although most of those carrying out kidnappings in the north are Fulani, the tribe should not be judged by the actions of the suspected criminals.
This is according to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III. He made the comments in a meeting with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association (MACBAN) in Abuja on Friday.
Abubakar said that it was wrong to label all Fulanis criminals or use “Fulani herdsmen criminal” to explain developments because of the misdeeds of some of them.
“I am a Fulani, and I am not a bad man,” he said.
“I am also not a criminal. Those engaged in one forms of crimes or another are across the country. It is not proper to refer to any tribe to describe individuals’ crime.
“For example, when they collected N10 million (ransom) where and how do you spend this amount? In the bush? The money is back in the city.
“I have told the Inspector General of police to check this; we are not saying Fulanis are not part of the kidnappings. As mentioned by the secretary of Miyetti Allah, seven to eight kidnappers arrested are Fulanis but that doesn’t mean every Fulani is a criminal. No, they are not.
“We must put hands together to bring an end to this problem.
“We are going to approach the president to talk to our West African neighbours where we have Fulanis like Senegal, Niger Republic Guinea and Mali, to help us because most of these bandit cross from neighbouring countries to conduct their criminal act and run back.”
The meeting comes in the wake of tensions, especially across the South-West states which many have attributed to criminal Fulani herdsmen.
Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho had given Fulanis in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo State an ultimatum to leave following allegations of criminality.
Videos shared on social media showed Igboho holding a well-attended rally where he swore to drive out Fulani herdsmen from the entire Yorubaland for causing insecurity and banditry.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State also issued a quit notice to all herdsmen to vacate government reserve forests in the state.