- Professor Umar Muhammad Labdo said Fulani people are not being treated fairly in the country
- The university lecturer said the Fulani were literate before Europeans came
- He noted that they are the ones in power at the moment
Professor Umar Muhammad Labdo has said that the Fulani people are destined to continue to lead the people because they have a come a long way.
In an interview with The Punch, the lecturer at the Maitamu Sule University said the Fulani people are more civilised and brought literacy to the country long before the coming of the Europeans.
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He criticised the anti-grazing law enacted by some states saying Fulani people have as much right to the country as every other person.
He said: “Now, those who rule are those that are more civilised and educated. Now, Fulani happened to be more educated than all other tribes in Nigeria before the Europeans came. We are the ones who brought literacy here as we have manuscripts, hundreds of them, which were written between 300 and 500 years ago today, when no other tribe knew how to write. And that is why the lot fell on our people to lead in this country and we are still leading the people. We are destined to continue leading people; but I know, if people read this, they will say he is a supremacist or something like that, no! It is not like that.
“This is a burden and we pay for it. Sardauna was killed because he was a ruler. If he had not been a ruler, why would he have been killed? Murtala Mohammed (a former military head of state) was also killed. Why? It was because he was a ruler. So, it is a burden. It is not something we are proud of; it is a burden but we have to shoulder the burden because we are the ones who are qualified for it. Now, if others come, who are more qualified than us, naturally, they would take it.
“Currently, we are competing with others. We are aware that we are disadvantaged. The reason is that western education came through missionaries. That was why our forefathers refused to embrace western education initially because accepting it meant accepting Christianity. Now that there are many other tribes that are becoming more educated, we are competing with them. Jonathan, for example, led this country for five years! Then, we mobilised our people and others, like in the South West – the Yoruba people – and we took power from him and now, if others are interested, let them also use their initiative to mobilise people and take it from us.
“Then we continue like that. But, you told some people, leave my state and now, some leaders in Kogi State are saying that there is no land for cattle colonies in the state. Why? Is it not Nigeria or are Fulani not Nigerians? Who eats the cow and its legs and tails? It is the Yoruba and the Igbo. Fulani don’t eat beef; we eat goat meat and mutton. We drink milk and eat goat meat. Who eats the cow? It is others, not us. Then, people are saying, we have no land for cattle colonies. Okay! Let them not have land for colonies. Other states would have. Already, six states have expressed interest and said that they would make land available.
“Now, after two or three decades, people would invite Fulani to their states because they are not liabilities but assets. They are moving, with millions of naira and they are not stealing from anybody. You can accuse them of destroying your crops, but you can never say that they stole your crops. They don’t steal!”
Meanwhile, former Sokoto governor Attahiru Bafarawa advised both the Benue and federal governments to evolve a political solution to end the violence instead of trading blames.
“What is required to end the crisis is a workable solution that would be acceptable to all sides; trying to establish who is right or wrong is not what matters now,” Bafarawa said on Friday, February 2, in Makurdi, when he paid a condolence visit to Governor Samuel Ortom.
He opined that a military approach to tackling the crisis would not solve the problem.
“A military approach will not solve the problem; the solution to it is political. We need to involve the traditional institution. This problem is not only a Benue problem, it is a national problem and we all need to come together to solve it."
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