Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has said that crises between farmers and herders have been hijacked by some politicians to score political points.
He said contrary to reports, President Muhammadu Buhari was neutral and takes no side in the conflicts.
He said rather than take sides with the herders, “President Buhari is even seen by the herdsmen as one who has taken sides with persons they consider as the aggressors.”
Ribadu stated this while speaking on Monday at a forum on conflict resolution organised by TVC.
He added, “Nomadic Fulani are the most detribalised people you can find; they don’t care about tribe or religion. They can live with anybody provided they have pasture.
“President Buhari rather than take sides with the Fulani herders; he is even seen by the herdsmen as one who has taken sides with persons they consider as the aggressors.
“Climatic changes, insecurity, and economic downturn are mostly the reasons herdsmen move from hinterland to down south.
“Over the years, Nigeria has failed to arrest nomadism and resettle Fulani nomads as it happened in many countries around the world.
“This is an old problem around the world from America to Asia and here in Africa. There were nomads in America but with right policies, they were settled.
“In India, there are 315 nomadic tribes, but they have all been settled. The Ahir tribe, in particular, is very similar to our own Fulani. The Suri in Ethiopia, Turkaana, Samburu and Masai in East Africa and Nembe in Namibia, or even the Tuaregs in North Africa and Sahel are all settled today. We should not be different,” he said.
He noted that the only policy ever introduced by the Nigerian government to help the Fulani herdsmen was the nomadic education programs.
He further called for proper integration of the nomadic Fulani in providing a lasting solution to the conflicts associated with herdsmen and farmers.