The monarch, however, said it was wrong to call all Fulani criminals or “Fulanis criminal herdsmen” to explain the developments.
The Sultan of Sokoto, HRH Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said that seven to eight out of 10 kidnappers arrested in Nigeria are Fulani.
As reported by The Nation, Abubakar made this known on Friday in Abuja at a meeting of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association (MACBAN).
The monarch, however, said it was wrong to label all Fulani as criminals or “Fulanis as criminal herdsmen” to explain the developments due to the misdeeds of some of them.
He said, “I am a Fulani, and I am not a bad person. I am also not a criminal. Those who are involved in one form of crime or another are everywhere in the country. It is not appropriate to refer to one tribe to describe the crimes of individuals.
“For example, if they collected N10 million, where and how do you spend that amount in the bush? The money is back in the city.
I have asked the Inspector General of Police to verify this; we are not saying that Fulanis are not involved in the kidnappings, as the secretary of Miyetti Allah mentioned, seven to eight kidnappers arrested are Fulanis, but that does not mean that every Fulani is a criminal, no they are not.
“We have to come together to put an end to this problem. We will approach the president to talk to our West African neighbours where we have Fulanis, like Senegal, Niger Republic, Guinea and Mali, to help us because most of these bandits from neighboring countries are doing their criminal acts and running back.”
The meeting comes in the wake of tensions, especially in the southwestern states, which many attribute to criminal Fulani herdsmen.
A Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, had issued an ultimatum to Fulanis in Ibarapa axis of Oyo State to leave the area after accusing them of criminality.
Videos circulated on social media showed Igboho holding a well-attended rally where he vowed to evict Fulani herdsmen from the entire Yorubaland for causing insecurity and banditry.
The governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, also called on all herdsmen to leave the state’s protected forests in the state.