The Catholic bishop of Sokoto diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah, has warned Nigerians against demonising Fulani Herdsmen.
Speaking on Tuesday at a colloquium on fake news and hate speech organised by the Olusegun Obasanjo Centre for African Studies, an arm of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Kukah warned that such action could lead to violence in Nigeria.
Following incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen whom some tag Fulani, the cleric likened the profiling of the Fulani to what happened to the Igbo leading up to the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970.
“If it is Fulani today, yesterday it was the Igbos,” he said.
On the picture of herdsmen used on the Nigerian passport booklets, Kukah said: “When I look at my passport, it has the coat of arm and map of Nigeria. Then right in front of the data page where all my information is, I have the Bini. I am not a Bini man, but I am eminently proud of this. I didn’t even know it was here because I had to go through the passport page by page.
“When I opened the passport the first thing I saw was Zuma Rock, then I see Tiv dancers. Who gave them permission to put Tiv dancers? Then I got to the next page before I came to this poor Fulani man who is standing with his cows.
“Suddenly, this is the only thing we have chosen. Why is it exciting? It is exciting because this is the time for us to ‘hate’, literally tag every Fulani as a herdsman. We are on a very dangerous precipice.”