The Coalition of Fulani Associations from across the country on Sunday called for a better deal for Fulani herdsmen, saying they remained the most marginalized people in Nigeria.
In a Communiqué read by Sale Bayari at the end of its meeting in Sokoto, the coalition noted that although there are over 17 million Fulani people in the country, there had been no government programme targeted at their welfare.
According to the coalition, while government disburses subsidy and support to farmers, the herdsmen get nothing.
“We are marginalised in the present disbursement of empowerment initiatives and others,” the group added.
The coalition emphasised that it would work to bring together all Fulani groups in the country so they could speak with one voice.
On the forthcoming general elections, the coalition said it has no preferred candidate, but advised the members to elect credible people who would protect Fulani interests.
Bayari, who is the Chairman of the coalition, had earlier at the opening of the delegates conference, appealed for the unconditional release of 3,000 Fulani people under detention across the country.
He said the Federal Government should work out a marshal plan to engage the Fulani and address their endemic poverty due to long years of neglect by the government.
“About 3,000 Fulani people are in detention at different security formations in the country.
“Poverty, neglects and poor treatment by fellow Nigerians were mostly the causes that forced those accused persons to engage in dastardly acts,” Bayari said.
According to him, about 2,500 pastoralists have been killed in various clashes with farmers, while 3.7 million livestock were either killed or stolen across states in the country.
“This situation has subjected our members to untold hardships,” he said, adding that a robust amnesty programme like that of Niger Delta would greatly assist the Fulani to ease out of their present hardships.