A former Minister of Information, Prince Tony Momoh, has wondered why Nigerians don’t address the Igbos as armed robbers, Yorubas as 419ers but paint Fulanis as killers.
Momoh further claimed that armed herdsmen that were killing and maiming Nigerians were not from the country.
The former Minister warned against attributing killings to Fulani herdsmen, adding that the whole thing had been highly politicised.
In an interview with Sun, Momoh claimed that the killings were being perpetrated by criminals from Mali and Libya and not Fulani herdsmen.
He stated, “Killings are activities that the government did not envisage but the killings are a challenge to everybody. So, everybody should be blamed for the killings.
“Communication resolves everything. How much communication is there? And if there are no instruments of communicating, we must establish them rather than buying the weapons of war.
“But let me tell you and I am saying it with all sense of responsibility. Many people are playing politics with the killings. They are initiating a particular pattern of belief, which would undermine the credibility of their group in future.
“We had the Biafran war in 1967 -1970 and the South East held Nigeria to a standstill before it ended. So, nobody could undermine the Nigerian/Biafran war. Now, the issue of militancy confronted this country and reduced our oil production to less than one million barrels per day.
“Nobody can undermine the works the militants did in the Niger Delta. The National Democratic Coalition(NADECO) confronted Nigeria peacefully after the annulment of the 1993 election and in spite of what you may think, there was no coup in Nigeria that was resisted that ever succeeded.
“The 1993 annulment of the election of MKO Abiola was resisted through the activities of NADECO and so on and so forth, and that was how the compromises of 1999 brought in former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the South West zone of the country.
“From what I said now, you cannot undermine the Niger Delta, you cannot undermine the Igbo and you cannot undermine the Yoruba. And when the problem of the Fulani caliphate was there, they discovered that they could not undermine the Kanuri and the Tivs.
“But do you know what we are doing now because of politics? Anything that happens now, we say it is the Fulani herdsmen whereas it is since the collapse of the Libyan army and the problem in Mali that caused the free flow of weapons into Nigeria especially the activities of Boko Haram.
“And instead of looking at the challenges confronting Nigeria, we are saying that it is the herdsmen that are doing it. Cattle rustlers also seize the cattle and kill the herdsmen which is another issue confronting Nigeria but we in Nigeria because of politics always say killings are by the Fulani herdsmen.
“Do you know that what Othman Dan Fodio could not achieve when he was quoted as having said that he would dip the Quoran in the sea is being achieved through stupid politicking by saying that everything that happens in Nigeria is by the Fulani herdsmen?
“Anywhere you go to, people would say we cannot go to farm because of the Fulani herdsmen. This is when as a matter of fact, the Fulani herdsmen are in more danger than any other Nigerian. Do we talk of Igbo armed robbers?
“Do we talk of Yoruba 419ers and so on? We talk of all these as crimes and we should be talking of the killings as also a crime.
“But because of politics, we are going into areas to make our children believe that the fear of Fulani herdsmen is the beginning of wisdom.
“So, what Othman Dan Fodio could not achieve when he was alive in Nigeria, we are achieving it through communication and making our own children afraid of the Fulani. Remember that the Fulani are in the minority in this country.
“Can you see the way we are moving in the way of deforestation and who would pay for it; our children. We must have the right communication. So, I want to say that criminals do the killings and we must all come together to fight it.”
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