The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has implored the Federal Government to prosecute Fulani herdsmen who kill in the name of acting the script of Fulani kinsmen, saying they should be treated like criminals.
The Sultan, however, stressed that Nigerians must stop mistaking the devilish act of the killer herdsmen as acting the script of the Fulani community or Muslim community in Nigeria.
He stated this in Kaduna, on Monday, at the opening ceremony of the two-day annual Pan-Northern groups summit on security, socio-economic and political development.
According to the Sultan, the clashes between farmers and herdsmen were purely economic and not ethno-religious as speculated in some quarters.
“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 Islamise Nigeria and that is why they are killing. Any Fulani herdsman who kills is not acting the script of the Fulani community in Nigeria, neither is he working for the Muslim community,” he said.
Speaking on the state of Northern Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto said 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.
According to him, “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 state of 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 N28 billion to build airport, adding that common people would feel their impact more on roads than building airport.