Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi State governor, has said Fulanis are the major victims of kidnapping and cattle rustling in the country.
Bagudu said this on Thursday, during an interview on Channels Television.
The Kebbi governor stated that criminals easily target Fulanis in the settlements, abduct them and steal their cattle because they do not have security operatives to watch over them.
Fulani herdsmen have been accused of perpetrating attacks and kidnappings in the country.
Bagudu, however, averred that most Nigerians do not hear the side of the Fulanis before attributing violent crimes to them.
According to him, many Fulani people are decent, peaceful residents and just want to make a living.
“I have met with many Fulani communities in my state, who explained that they are also victims. They are the first victims of kidnapping and castle rustling,” he said.
“It is easier for a drunk child, someone who is abusing drugs, to go to the community where there is no road, no police, no infrastructure to kidnap his cousin or sister and demand for cattle to be sold, for him to be given money.
“They are the major victims of kidnapping and then the wider kidnapping that is conducted by other Fulanis and non-Fulanis, who have come to form criminal gangs.
“Equally, cattle rustling is an activity that is against people who move cattle or who own cattle. A lot of Fulani are naturally victims and they are pauperised by it.
“We don’t even hear their stories. We don’t hear their side. We just think they are complicit. They are not. Majority of them are peaceful and decent people, seeking to make a living.”