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HomeNationalHerdsmen: Benue, Jos belong to Fulani, Prof. Umar insists

Herdsmen: Benue, Jos belong to Fulani, Prof. Umar insists

Prof. Umar Labdo Muhammad, a Professor of Islamic Political Thoughts at Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano has insisted Jos Plateau, Benue and major parts of the middle belt belong to the Fulanis.

Prof. Umar who was heavily criticized for his view that Benue State belongs to the Fulani by conquest insisted in an interview with The Sun NG that the Hausa/Fulani founded the city of Jos, Plateau State, at a time the locals in the area were still living in jungles and mountains.

He maintained his position that the Middle Belt area of Nigeria belongs to the Fulani

In his words, “Yes, I still stand by my position 100 percent. Like I said in an interview some time ago, this Upper Benue and Lower Benue, they used to be part of Bauchi. A large chunk of what is today’s North Central or what some people prefer to call Middle Belt today were actually territories belonging to Sokoto Caliphate.

“If you agree that Abuja used to be part of Sokoto until 1975 or 76 when Niger State was carved out of Sokoto, you begin to understand.”

Prof. Umar also explained that Benue was part of and used to be administered by Bauchi Emirate before the colonial masters made their intrusion into Nigeria.

“Benue is part of Bauchi Emirate. Before the colonial masters made their intrusion into Nigeria, those areas used to be administered by the emirate of Bauchi. Of course, there were no fully established authorities because of the nature of the times. There were raids and counter-raids, which unfortunately were being exploited by the colonialists and later by the colonial pupils,” he said.

Speaking of killings across the region, Prof. Umar said his take on the issue is that enemies of Nigeria are perpetuating ‘that kind of attack.’

He, however, applauded Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong for bringing peace back to plateau. Umar said was able to bring peace back to the city because he was faired to all adding that if there is no fairness there can never be peace.

“My take on this is that enemies of Nigeria are perpetuating that kind of attack. You know that Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has succeeded in bringing peace back to Plateau and he did that by trying to be fair to all. If there is no fairness, there can never be peace. I cannot live in a state for a hundred years and you call me a settler.

“Yes, a hundred years in a place is enough to make you an indigene of the place. We have Kano – Yoruba, we have Yoruba in the capital of Zamfara, Gusau and we have Yoruba in Funtua. They have become indigenes in those areas.

“There was one Sikiru who even contested an election here in Kano and he won and they went celebrating saying “Sikiru has won an election in Kano; he too is an indigene of Kano.” And we didn’t harass them. When the Hausa/Fulani started developing Jos and the environs, the so-called indigenes were not sufficiently enlightened to join a civil life.

“They were more or less living in jungles and mountaintops. It was our people who founded Jos. Even though they tried to give the word: “Jos” another interpretation. But you know that we have “Josawa” And majority of those Hausa in Jos, you know they are from Kano and Kano has been an enterprising part of Northern Nigeria for long.

“So it is a very big injustice for anybody, whether it is Berom or any other tribe, to say that Hausa/ Fulani must leave Plateau. If Hausa/Fulani are to leave Plateau, what about the Beroms and others who are living in Kano? Do you know that Zamani Lekwot has a house in Kano? And we know that he has a house in Kano.

“And the young people in Kano know him and nobody would take a stone and throw at him. So about the recent killings in Plateau, it was orchestrated by the enemies of Nigeria, by those vested interests who are against a government of the people.

“They want the government of the very rich, they want to destroy this country. They are not only Buhari’s enemy, they are your enemy, and they are my enemies. They are enemies of Nigeria,” he said.

Prof. Umar, however, vehemently condemned multiple killings across the region.

He said, “I condemn it. Killing – even if it comes from a Fulani – I condemn it. Even if it is a reprisal, I condemn it. If a Fulani is attacked, he is not supposed to take revenge. He is supposed to report the matter to the local Fulani association, report to the Nigerian Police and so on.”

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