Even as Lawmaker accused them of Fueling insecurity
Paschal Emeka, Abuja. Friday 3rd June, 2022. 5:05PM
Few days after Hon. Bamidele Salam protested barefooted in Abuja over rising cases of insecurity and the failure of security agencies to rescue kidnapped passengers on Abuja/Kaduna bound train about three months ago, various Fulani ethnic groups from 16 West African countries gathered in the nation’s capital, to deliberate on issues relating to insecurity and profiling of the Fulani as criminals in several quarters.
It will be recalled that the lawmaker representing Ede-North/Ede-South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency in Osun State at the House of Representatives during the protest accused Fulani bandits of being behind most of the insecurity ravaging parts of the country.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the lawmaker lamented that “it is an embarrassment as a nation that our wives, mothers, fathers, husbands get routinely kidnapped at will by bandits with many of them losing their lives even after the payment of ransom by their families or communities”.
“This defect reflects badly on the government. No government can aspire to legitimacy and relevance if it fails the basic test of ensuring the safety and well-being of the people who elected it into office.
“We are at that point today when the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari must rise to its full height and exercise leadership. It is trite to remark that the unfettered activities of bandits, terrorists and other criminals have created the impression in the minds of many Nigerians and even foreigners that the Nigerian state is tottering on the brink of collapse.
“This impression is reinforced by the ease with which these criminal elements even take on security operatives. We recall that in August 2021, bandits attacked Nigeria’s elite military institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) killing two officers and abducting another senior officer.
“That attack and many others elsewhere have belittled our security agencies and have caused Nigerians to lose faith in the ability of their government to protect their inalienable rights to life and property.
“President Buhari must rekindle that confidence and a good place to start would be to work assiduously to secure the release of the kidnapped Kaduna train victims.
“Reports and video footage emanating from their abductors are not encouraging. The lives of the hostages hang in the balance as the Federal Government seemingly at its wits end, prevaricates on such a sensitive matter of national importance.
Analysts believed that the gathering of Fulani ethnic groups from West Africa in Abuja may not be unconnected with the belief held by many Nigerians that their kinsfolk are behind some of the insecurities.
According to a Chieftain of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alwaal Abubakar, the dialogue was to gather stakeholders together; the government agencies, the Fulani which made up 90 percent of the nomads, the herdsmen.
We face a lot of discriminations. They are accused of the crimes they did not commit. What we realized is that Fulani are 90 percent nomads.
“There are problems associated with nomads such as open grazing and others. We are trying to advise the country on how to handle these issues.
“We are being profiled as criminals. We contribute over 15 percent to the GDP. We support the milk and the hide and skin industries.
“We are disappointed with this government. How can a Fulani man at the head of the government not create a Fulani Commission to handle some of our challenges?
Our Correspondent gathered that the meeting was part of a two-day First Interactive Policy Dialogue and Cultural Festival organised by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association.
Checks by this medium have it that the festival with the theme, “The Future of Fulani Pastoralists in Nigeria” took place in Abuja with Fulani from 16 West African countries as delegates. They are expected to come up with a position paper at the end of the meeting.