Following incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday called on Nigerians to stop mistaking the evil act of killer herdsmen for Muslims and Fulani community in Nigeria.
The Sultan stated this during the opening ceremony of a two-day annual Pan-Northern Groups Summit on security, socio-economic and political development held in Kaduna yesterday.
He said the herdsmen were nothing but criminals who should be prosecuted.
The sultan said the clashes between farmers and herdsmen were purely economic clashes and not ethno-religious as speculated in some quarters.
According to him, “There are very terrible herdsmen who kill. But they are acting on their own, they are criminals and they must be treated as criminals. Therefore, the federal government should prosecute them.
“It is disheartening to hear when people say Fulani herdsmen want to Islamize Nigeria and that is why they are killing. Any Fulani herdsman who kills is not acting the script of Fulani community in Nigeria, neither is he working for the Muslim community,” he said.
On the state of northern Nigeria, the Sultan said the unity of northern Nigeria was non-negotiable if the region must develop and have a common front.
He lamented that the north of today was not the north that Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello left behind, adding that there was ethnic awareness among northerners now than ever before.
“There is more ethnic awareness now than ever before. The question is why the sudden consciousness in ethnicity and religion?
“I will not attempt to provide answer to this question, but, we must therefore strive to re-unite the North, only then, we can have a common front and build a united and cohesive north,” he said.
On infrastructural decay in the north, the sultan charged northern governors to pay attention to infrastructure, especially roads.
He said governors should build roads instead of using N28billuion to build airport, adding that common people would feel their impact more on roads than airports.

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