Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, on Monday, in Enugu, said the Fulani were not responsible for herdsmen attacks in different parts of the country.
He noted that it was wrong to attribute all herdsmen-related attacks to the Fulani.
According to him, other tribes in the country also rear cows.
The Sultan said, “If anybody commits any crime, he should be given his real name, which is a criminal, whether he is Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo or Ibibio.
“It is not only the Fulani that are herdsmen; there are herdsmen from other ethnic groups in the country.”
He maintained that those who commit crimes in the guise of cattle rearing should be described as criminals and not as Fulani herdsmen.
The Sultan said, “The Fulani have been living in peace with the people in the communities where they rear their cattle, will they wake up one day and start attacking and killing these people? It is not possible. Something must be wrong somewhere.
“We (the Fulani) will never support killing. I want to tell you that the Fulani people cannot do that. Until we give these killers their real name, which is criminal, we will not overcome the security challenges we have.”
The Sultan added that Nigerians should come together to tackle all the challenges confronting the country.
“The second thing we need to do is to come together as one. We should kick out the evil ones among us and deal with them.”
He also dismissed the insinuations that there were plans to Islamise the country, especially the South-East.
“More Muslims died in the Boko Haram insurgency than Christians. We have been hearing that herdsmen are invading Igbo communities and attacking people in order to Islamise them.
“You cannot Islamise people by killing them, you Islamise somebody by showing love. There is no compulsion in the Islamic faith. Please, don’t look at any criminal from the religion he practises. Political leaders should please stop using religion to divide this country,” he said.
Faulting the claims that President Muhammadu Buhari was marginalising the Igbo, the Sultan said that the President was misunderstood.
“I have spoken to him (Buhari) several times and what people are accusing him of are not even what he is thinking about.
“Of course, if some people are doing something behind his (Buhari’s) back, he must take the blame because he is the leader,” the Sultan said.