A Professor of Islamic Political Thoughts, Prof. Umar Ladbo, has said that violent traits noticed in some Fulani herdsmen were a result of years of provocation.
The don lamented cattle rustling, banditry and other ills that have befallen the Fulani in recent times.
Ladbo said that Fulani people have always been peaceful and shy people until circumstances forced them to defend themselves following years of constant threats to their lives and livelihood.
The eminent professor, who is versed in Islamic and Fulani history, said:
The Fulani are known to be very peaceful people, very shy, introverts; people who mainly keep to themselves and their businesses. That is how Fulani were known in the 70s, 80s and before then. But now with the situation they found themselves in, they are changing. Sometimes change is imposed on people. A Fulani who does not know anything in this world except the cow – the cow is the beginning and the end of his life , now you dispossess him of that cow, what do you think he would do? He didn’t have land to farm, he didn’t have education to seek for employment, he didn’t have company, he only has cows and now it has been taken away from him. So he would be mad, he would run crazy and he would do things unthinkable that he himself would never have imagined or dreamed of doing. You know survival, you know what survival is? That is how I see these things. The Fulani has been pushed to the wall and now they are reacting.
What do you think is the solution? How do we begin to manage the situation from getting worse than this, what is the way forward to stop them from being desperate because they are creating problems here and there?
This one is also a challenge because Fulani always lack voice. So, it is hard to know what is in their minds. The Federal Government considers Miyetti Allah as the only voice of the Fulani and I think that this is wrong. There are many other Fulani organizations, which some of them are even closer to the Fulani in the bush than this elites in Miyetti Allah. Miyetti Allah has many elites and when we mention elites in the Nigerian context you begin to perceive corruption is there, selfishness is there and greed and so on. I will venture to say that some of the members of Miyetti Allah are not working in the interests of the Fulani. The Federal Government should not be working with only Miyetti Allah, they should bring in other Fulani groups and organizations. They should aggregate the general views and then regard the summary as the views of the Fulani. That way, they would come to understand what is going on in the minds of the Fulani, how Fulani view these problems and what they think would improve their lives. Once they do that , the way would be clear.