The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, on Friday in Abuja apologised to Fulani cattle breeders over his recent remarks which likened the defection of politicians from the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressive Congress, APC, to Fulani nomads.
Mr. Maku, had while speaking with State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, asked journalists to monitor the movement of politicians from one party to the other.
“I want to urge journalists to begin to monitor these movements more so as some of them have been moving for years now, they have not stopped. They are like the Fulani nomads. They move from one party to another without shame. It shouldn’t be something that we should cherish”, Mr. Maku was quoted as saying.
The nomads, usually of Fulani ethnicity, are cattle breeders who regularly migrate from one place to the other in search of greener pasture for their cattle.
Maku’s statement had elicited a sharp rebuke from the Fulani Socio-Cultural Organization, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, which described his comment as unfortunate and urged him to learn to use decent language in political circle, adding that his utterances were baseless and a ploy to rubbish the Fulanis whom he said are more than Minister’s kinsmen in Nasarawa State.
According to a statement by Maku’s Chief Press Secretary, Joe Mutuah, his principal’s statement was taken out of context.
“The Minister wishes to make it clear that the word nomadic was used as a normative term to describe the incessant movement of some of our politicians from one party to another but not to denigrate the Fulani nomads”, Mutah said
He stressed that the minister did not mean to disrespect Fulani nomads, adding that Maku shared a good relationship with them.
“Mr. Maku has no intention whatsoever to disrespect Fulani nomads with whom he has shared intimacy and excellent relationships since childhood”, he said
Mutah noted that the minister, however, regretted any pain his statement might have caused.