Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State has described as unfair, the recourse to tagging Fulani as insurgents in Nigeria, saying that the allegation that the herdsmen were responsible for some terrorist attacks in the country was incredulous.
Rather, the governor, himself a Fulani, was of the opinion that there were persons bent on breaking the strong relationship built over the years between the Fulani and other tribes, especially the Tivs, for political advantage.
Lamido, who made this known in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, revealed a deep sense of hurt at the treatment being meted to his kinsmen, who he said owe the Nigerian government nothing, since they hardly benefit from public medical service and other social amenities.
He stressed that the Fulani tribe must be cared for and showed love, to make them feel being part and parcel of the country.
According to him: “You see, I feel deeply hurt. The whole thing is very unfortunate. The story of a Fulani is like that of nature. Here is somebody, who doesn’t patronise your school, he doesn’t benefit from scholarship, he does not benefit from medical facilities. I mean, he doesn’t enjoy anything from you; nature is his own companion, nature is his own security, nature is something that cleanses his soul.
“Today, they are being called terrorists and killed. Earlier today (Friday), I heard that 30 fulani have been killed in Nasarawa State. I am Fulani and I have feelings that my tribe is not wanted in Nigeria. If the trend continues, I might likely lose face in my country.
“These people live in the forest, whether in Plateau or in Nasarawa. They only bring their milk to sell and their meat. In the end, they buy grains from the farmers, because they are not farmers. So, they are a very strong pillar of Nigeria’s economy.
“Now, these ordinary simple men are being labelled terrorists and are being criminalised. So, I feel terribly hurt and feel a pain in my heart. If this is what the Fulani men are getting, then it is most unfortunate.
“Of course, there are traditional crises between Fulani herdsmen and farmers. Even in Jigawa here, we do have them, but this is a simple thing which they can control. But the sudden speed of labelling them terrorists is what is making me feel very sad”.