Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has said that Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria see all people dwelling in urban areas as part of those cheating them.
The controversial Islamic scholar stated this during an interview with Vanguard Newspaper, published on Sunday. The cleric explained how Fulani herdsmen formed part of non-state actors terrorising Nigeria.
He said, “There are two types of Fulani. There are Fulani that is herdsmen. Traditionally, they inherited cattle. They will tell you ‘these cattle we inherited about five generations ago’. They have refused to educate themselves.
“They only have cattle as their capital. And there are Fulani all over the town. In fact, I don’t think there’s any tribe that has intermarried with other tribes than the Fulani. If you go to the East, you will see a Fulani-speaking Igbo. I have seen a Fulani who speaks Igbo. I have seen a Fulani who was speaking Yoruba.
“I have seen a Fulani who was speaking other languages. And in the Hausa area, a lot of these people you see are Fulani. That is why they coined the word Hausa/Fulani. After all, there are Fulani that turned into Hausa. And these herdsmen are fighting anybody, whether you are Fulani or not. Once you are a town dweller, you are part of the government. You are part of the people that are cheating them. They will fight you.”
Gumi also said the ideologies of ISWAP, Boko Haram and Ansaru – all terrorist groups – are not accepted by people in northern Nigeria.
He said: “Oh yes, definitely. They don’t have any ground in the North. They don’t have — they can only live in the forest. But you don’t hear them in malls preaching or in — nobody accepts them, nobody accepts their ideology, nobody.”
According to him, the best method the Nigerian Government can adopt to solve the lingering insecurity crisis in the country is to dialogue with all non-state actors.
“ISWAP and IPOB are the only two groups that want to destroy the nation. How do you deal with them? You deal with them through dialogue. When you dialogue with somebody, you understand the complexity of his agitations and what he is looking for. You can use their factions to fight them back. If you can get Boko Haram online and Ansaru online, they can take care of ISWAP. And the IPOB, south-easterners who are ready to remain in Nigeria are negligible,” he added.