Hussaini Salisu, spokesman for Livestock Breeders Association of Nigeria (LIBAN), Kaduna State chapter, has claimed that Fulani people are the most hated and cheated in Nigeria, despite providing milk, meat and skin for the nation.
Salisu, a Fulani rice farmer and herder, in an interview with The Sun, lamented that his means of livelihood, as well as that of his kinsmen are being threatened by insecurity.
The Kaduna LIMAN spokesperson said the farmer-herder conflict in the country is as a result of communal clashes and not foreign Fulani herdsmen.
He warned that blaming foreign Fulani herdsmen for the farmer-herder conflict in Nigeria may provoke Fulani herdsmen from other countries to attack Nigeria.
Speaking on the increasing food crisis in the country, he noted that there would be scarcity as the Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of importing food.
”If you continue to talk about Fulani this way, they will not have peace and if they don’t have peace, you cannot have peace yourself”, he said.
”I am the Dallatun of Laduga in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State. I am a rice farmer. My parents live in the bush. We farm and rear cattle. We have farmers and cattle rearers whose occupations are being threatened by insecurity, particularly kidnapping and banditry.
“And the only way out of this insecurity is for the government to be realistic and non-partial in ensuring that peace is restored. Fulani people have been threatened by insecurity and their cows rustled over the years.
“Now, the government is trying to protect the farmers so that they can work on their farms without fear of being kidnapped. But nobody is talking about protecting the Fulani herdsmen who are rearing cows. They need to be protected too.
”We Fulani have been cheated, myself in particular, all my cows have been rustled, and I cannot also go to the farm. And somebody will say there will be peace? I know many people will say Fulani are the bandits, kidnappers, this is how they have been frustrated. If you continue to talk about Fulani this way, they will not have peace and if they don’t have peace, you cannot have peace yourself.”
”Food scarcity will continue because the government says it will not import food, and now insecurity does not allow farmers to go to the farms to work. And the little farm produce is being bought off by urban traders who travel to the village in search of food. So, urban dwellers rely on rural communities for food.
“You cannot hate Fulani because we are hard-working people. We provide milk for the country, we provide meat for the country, and even the shoes you are wearing are made of cow’s skins. Yet we are being frustrated.
Speaking on calls for secession in the country, Salisu said Fulanis are skilled and will survive if the country breaks up because they have the population in the north.
“When such republics are created, we will not want to see one another because we were once together as brothers and now you don’t want to see me. They will even fight each other over land because there will not be enough land for them,” he stated.
”And whenever they want to travel to any part of the world they must pass through Nigeria. But if they want to separate, let them go. We the Fulani people will survive if the country breaks up because we are the most populous in the North.”
“We are the pioneer rulers of northern Nigeria. All the northern rulers are Fulani from inception.”