Expel the criminal Fulani

Governor Akeredolu of Ondo state recently through his twitter gave an ultimatum to the Fulani herders living in his state to vacate the state’s forest. The expulsion came as the result of rampant cases of kidnapping alleged to have been carried out by the herders. Governor Akeredolu’s order has been greeted with mixed reactions from Nigerians. Some Nigerians have expressed displeasure or disappointment with the threat, citing chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution which gives every Nigerian the right of movement. Governor Akeredolu, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), knows his order will infringe the right of many innocent Fulani who have been residing in the state for centuries.

Akeredolu’s allegations of crime committed by Fulani is not far from the truth. Northern Nigeria which is the epicenter of clashes between nomads and farmers is a pointer. The banditry attacks in Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna states are believed to be the handiwork of criminal Fulani. Besides, nobody can dispute the claims made by the governor who is also the chief security officer of his state.   However, the Fulani criminals cannot commit all the alleged crimes alone. There must be an element of truth that most of the crimes are being perpetrated in connivance with natives who often provide information about their victims. What about the allegations that some Fulani from neighbouring countries take advantage of our porous borders to attack, kidnapp and rob many communities? Many Fulani are also victims of the criminals among them. Think about the cattle rustlers who continue to make lives difficult for them.

What about the ethnic militias who continue to kill and steal their cattle?Over a decade, Fulani herders have continued to face multi-faceted challenges ranging from climate change, urbanization to organized crime. The federal government proposed “RUGA” policy which would have forced Fulani to abandon old method of rearing and embrace modern one has been politicized. Benue state said it would not provide land for ranches with other states following suit. 

While Ondo state government has made a U-turn and agreed only the registered Fulani herders would be allowed to reside in the state, in Oyo state, it’s a different story. An ethnic warrior, Sunday Igbono, dared Governor Seyi Makinde by instigating some youths to attack Fulani community. The unfortunate attacks, as usual, attracted condemnation and re-ignited war of words between the leadership of Afenifere and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). The war of attrition between these socio-cultural organizations may be about Fulani “must go”and Fulani “must stay” mantra. Honestly, every geo-political zone has a sad story to tell about how it suffers in the hands of criminal Fulani. Let us identify the criminal Fulani, expel and apprehend them. Let them face the laws of the land for their atrocities. We cannot continue to stigmatise all the Fulani because of the sins of a few.
Ibrahim Mustapha,Pambegua, Kaduna state [email protected],08169056963  

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