Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
Former Governor of Bauchi State,Malam Isa Yuguda has said that Fulani Herdsmen have the constitutional right to defend themselves, but not with AK 47.
Yuguda stated this on Monday while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the revalidation his membership of the All Peoples Congress(APC) at its on going registration/revalidation exercise in Bauchi State.
The ex – Governor who said the Fulanis in the country have been unfairly treated over the years,emphasised that ” the Nigerian state has not been fair to these people(Fulanisl over the years.When the white men came,they provided cattle grazing and routes from Maiduguri to Lokoja and Ilorin”.
According to him, “at the time when Lord Luggard setup the government in Northern Nigeria, the Fulanis provided revenue that kick -started development in the north in terms of infrastructure, including in Benue state where they were chased out”.
“This is a very sensitive national issue and given that I am a Fulani man, when I make comments, people will think i am siding the fulanis, no, but I think the cattle rearers who have been herding for the past 200 years all over the country cannot just wakeup in the morning and all of a sudden become AK 47 killers and mostly importantly, the neglect of the fulanis, especially the cattle rearers who are presently giving Nigerians a minimum of one million cattle to slaughter and take as beef, their treatment by the Nigerian states have been most unfair”.
” When the white man came, he respected them because they were his source of revenue, not only that he provided cattle routes from Maiduguri to Oturpo, from sokoto to Lokoja and Ilorin and these infrastructures were provided by the white people and today where are the grazing reserves? Where are the cattle routes? but you cannot blame Nigerians because we are giving birth, because in the 60’s, we were still 60 million in population, but today, we are about 130 million Nigerians in the northern part of the country, so everywhere have been dominated”
“Where were those in power with their brains that they never thought of resettling these people and make them an economy.The mindset especially down south is that the fulanis are gun carrying people, there have been clamour by senior citizens of this country that we should carry weapons, but Governor Mohammed made a remark to that effect, everybody was sentimental”.
Governor Yuguda then wondered why the comment by Governor Bala Mohammed generated the recent public outcry, arguing that; “There have been clamour by senior citizens in this country that we should carry weapons to defend ourselves, but when our governor, Bala Mohammed made a remark to that effect everyone is crying wolf – all the Nigerian press is saying Bala is this, Bala is that” .
The firmer Governor who blamed the Nigeria press over ethnic profiling warned that; “Let us stopped being sentimental for goodness sake, otherwise this country will crumble “.
He also added that “It’s crumbling in your hands and I’m afraid that you as the press are creating this problem”, he added. END