They blamed Obasanjo, Yar’adua, GEJ, for neglecting them and praised Abacha.
It’s been long. We started after Zamfara state was created
Q: Why did you go into banditry?
We took up arms because we are herdsmen and despite this country’s wealth, we were not carried along, we are not educated, we don’t know anything.
We do not have security, we do not have any benefit. We are the ones being killed, but are always seen as the aggressors.
We don’t have anything. Wherever a herder is, he is uneducated and has nothing. In this country, there is everything, but we are not carried along. It is as though we do not exist. We are just being killed.
A few years ago there was a move to strike a peace deal with you. Why did it collapse?
Of course it has been breached. You asked for armistice and and agreement was reached, but you left that person in the forest with a gun and nothing to substitute. What do you expect? How do yo want that person to survive?
Of all the promises made to us, none was fulfilled. And enroll the young ones in schools, we should be treated the same way. And give them jobs with the government and enrol them in schools. The Hausa, Yoruba and the Fulani should be treated equally.
The president should personally come and preside over the talks. When he was campaigning he would come all over. Why won’t he do that now? He does not take the peace talks seriously and everybody are being killed. There is no day that someone is not killed between Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Sokoto and Katsina. No two days pass without someone getting killed in those places.
There is no tribe that is spared. Gunmen kill, soldiers kill, vigilantes kill. Whoever you see with him today in Nigeria, he uses it to kill people. You may not know but if I were to tell you the situation of things in this country, you will cry. Even the president will cry.
We supported this administration and accepted dialogue, because we thought that he (Buhari) will fix this country, but he won’t fix this country. From the time he praised Goodluck, Obasanjo and the late Yaradua, … these were not praiseworthy.
It would be better if he had praised Abacha because under Abacha pastoralists were being educated. In Abacha’s time there was allocation in the budget for nomadic communities. There was no such thing again since Obasanjo became president.
Q: So you think since the transition to civilian rule, Fulani communities haven’t been taken care of?
They stopped looking after them (Fulani). Their forests and grazing areas were taken over. You’ll see one person having as much as 1,000 hectares just because he is rich.