The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called on security agencies in the country to arrest herdsmen found to be in possession of AK 47 assault rifles.
Speaking yesterday at a conference aimed at promoting inter-religious understanding among Muslims and Christians, the monarch described raffle-yielding herdsmen as criminals who should be treated as such.
Lamenting the high poverty rate among the teeming youth population, he stated that except a drastic measure is taken to address poverty, “We are definitely sitting on a time bomb much bigger than Boko Haram.”
He said, “There must be open dialogue on the variety of national issues, including the perennial power rotation, if not, we are definitely sitting on a time bomb.
“Secondly, government at all levels must translate into tangible benefits for all Nigerians regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliations. Nigeria has all the resources to make life more pleasant for the people.
“It is also imperative to address the poverty problem as well as the need of the youth population both in the Northern states and the rest of the country, especially in a situation where half of the population is under 19 years of age, we are definitely sitting on a time bomb bigger than Boko Haram unless we take further actions to defuse it.
“Thirdly, there is the need for renewed determination to address the various crises in our country especially the Boko Haram crisis. The Federal Government must take very seriously, its security responsibility and effectively contain these crises but beyond that, dialogue must be initiated to begin healings to bring genuine understanding and reconciliation amongst the entire people.
“The Fulani herdsmen we all know since we were children, are not the same as the ones we see carrying AK47 and killing people because we see people go around killing innocent villagers in their houses and we don’t see cattle. The Fulanis we see in our villages, markets and other places, we only see them with sticks and cattle, we don’t see them with Ak 47.
“Any Fulani man that you see carrying AK47, killing people instead of carrying sticks and cattle, treat him as a terrorist and not as a herdsman. The government must wake up to its responsibility and turn this tide of incessant killings of people in their villages.”
The Sultan had recently said Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians, but foreigners.
Abubakar, in his Eid el-Kabir message to the Muslim Ummah, said such foreigners come into the country with the aim of perpetrating violence.