Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure adequate appeasement of the Fulani race before leaving office next May.
Gumi spoke, on Thursday, as a resource person at the ongoing two-day First Interactive Policy Dialogue and Cultural Festival organised by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Festival with the theme, ” The Future of Fulani Pastoralists in Nigeria.”
The Islamic scholar claimed that the Fulanis have been wrongly demonised and feel alienated.
He maintained that with dialogue and genuine commitment to peace, those who engage in kidnapping and banditry which have complicated security situations in both the North West and North-Eastern part of the country would surrender their arms.
The Islamic scholar particularly tasked the Muhammadu Buhari administration to create Ministry of Nomadic Affairs to mitigate herders-farmers clashes.
He also demanded that adequate funds, in trillions to match the appeasement of Niger Delta militants with the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs be done for the bandits.
He said: “The children that were killing and kidnapping people opened their doors freely to us when we visited because they heard we were there to preach the gospel, all they want is to dialogue. Send them people that they respect to dialogue with them and they will listen by the grace of God and this problem will be resolved.
“Everyone is to blame for their actions, including the bandits. They feel the world has developed and left them behind, all the injustice being meted out to them. “How do we resolve this, we need to walk amongst them, embrace and ensure that all they deserve is given to them. The havoc they are causing is hindering farming, villages have been displaced because they feel that they were also displaced from their homes.
“We are at war and the solution is what was done for the people of the Niger Delta, how the government got them justice and even gave them a Ministry, why can’t the government give us a Ministry of Nomadic Affairs? Education will be inclusive and empowering, and hospitals.
“They still have respect and behave like everyone else when you meet with them, we need to come together, politicians, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders and assist them. They are acting out because they have been pushed to the wall, since the inception of Nigeria as a country, they have never gotten real assistance.
“Now gather all their monies and give to them. Calculate how much you have given to the Niger Delta region since they started their agitations, I heard it is running into trillions, so the Fulani want theirs, gather all their monies and give to them, I am calling on the President, before you leave office, hand over the money, meet their leaders to get to them. 99.9 per cent of Fulanis are peace-loving, only 0.1 cents are causing all the havoc, which is not being caused for mere mischief but because they have been pushed to the wall.
“We have to engage these people to have a positive result, my only fear is the infiltration of terrorists into their midsts, it’s a factor we have to consider seriously and even the terrorists themselves, I think there is neglect. Until now, Boko Haram is not a hopeless case, so we have to protect our herdsmen from their infiltration.”
Sheik Gumi however cautioned the Nomadic Pastoralists to cultivate the habit of living in peace with non-Fulanis and non-Moslems, as he noted that killings of innocent citizens were against the prescription of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.
“There is a treaty we have with all non-Muslims in Nigeria to live together in peace, which was reached with the colonial masters which are renewed every time we elect members of the House of Assembly so no Muslim has the right to injure or kill any non-Muslim in this country under the treaty and the Prophet has instructed us not to kill any soul that we enter into a treaty of peace with and we have agreed constitutionally to stay in peace with all non-Muslims so no Muslim has the right to use his hand to kill any non-Muslim.”