The expansionist tendencies of Fulani herdsmen and settlers is a major reason other tribes are agitating for their own country, pan-Yoruba sociopolitical association Afenifere says.
Afenifere made the claim after Islamic cleric Sheikh Gumi said there was no difference between separatists and Boko Haram terrorists.
Another group, Core Incorporation, had also advised Nigerians to be wary of those posing as ethnic saviours to fight against banditry, killings and kidnappings across the country.
The group’s warning referred to Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho who has vowed to expel “Fulani criminals” from the South-West. The Eastern Security Network (ESN), a group founded by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has embarked on a similar crusade in the South-East.
The Nigerian government is accused of pampering Fulani tribespeople, including those from outside the country, and allowing them grab lands from citizens.
Afenifere’s spokesperson says separatists should, therefore, not be unduly criticised.
“The person that says they are dancing in heaven is not a liar and the person that says they are drumming too is not a liar because wherever there is dancing, there must be drumming,” Odumakin told Sahara Reporters on Monday.
“There could be some excesses here and there with some of the groups that are fighting for self-determination but that does not mean we should abandon the reason why they are agitating for self-determination.
“If Nigeria is okay, if everything is in order, if there is no Fulani domination, if Nigeria is not being run as if it belongs to a group of people to the detriment of the rest of us, nobody will even listen to anybody talking about nationalism at this point in time.
“We should not give succour to those who are ruling Nigeria for their personal gain and condemn only those who are fighting back.
“If there are areas they think they should improve in their fight, they should tell them but there is no point in saying there is no reason for fighting back, there is a reason.”