Any ethnic group in Nigeria that attempts to confront the Fulani will be heavily defeated, the National Chairman of Fulbe (Fulani) Development Association of Nigeria, Malam Ahmad Usman Bello, has declared.
The association is known as the apex body of the Fulani in Nigeria.
Bello was reacting to the outcry that followed recent bloody attacks in Benue, Taraba and Adamawa states, suspected to have been carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
More than 70 people were killed in some communities in Benue state on New Year’s day, and Governor Samuel Ortom believes herdsmen carried out the attacks in protest against the State’s anti-open grazing law.
“Take it or not, Fulanis have remained unbeatable; no ethnic group can fight us face to face. Any ethnic group that fights us will learn a bitter lesson,” he told Nigerian Tribune.
Stressing that his group is the “the largest ethnic group in Nigeria and, indeed, West Africa,” Bello, however, said it would be in the interest of the country for all ethnic groups to live in peace.
Bello, while tracing the origin of the Tiv, claimed the Tiv forefather hailed from Katsina state and had married a Junkun woman who gave birth to those who are today referred to as the Tiv people.
“Igbos claim they descended from Jews but settled in Nigeria. Even Yorubas also claim they came from the Middle East, while Hausa people equally claim to have originated from Abyssinia, the modern Ethiopia,” he added.
“Fulanis have never referred to any group as settlers but instead they have carved out places for non-indigenes to go about their normal businesses without harassment or intimidation.
“Even in Kano, Sabongari was carved out for mostly non-Muslims resident in the state. Those that went for the Second World War, when they came back, in order not to contaminate those indigenes on ground, a place called Brigade was mapped out for them to reside.
“We Fulanis welcome others but, unfortunately, Fulanis, despite being the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, in West Africa as a whole and perhaps even on the continent, we do not discriminate.”