Gumi claimed that there had been “unjust persecution and stereotyping of herdsmen in the country.”
Controversial Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has formed a herder rights organisation known as the Nomadic Rights Concern (NORIC) primarily for the protection and defence of the rights of herdsmen.
Gumi said on Friday that the Nigerian government ought to attend to the agitations of the herdsmen in same manner it handled the Niger Delta youths.
Explaining the objectives of the organisation in Kaduna State, Gumi claimed that there had been “unjust persecution and stereotyping of herdsmen in the country.”
Gumi who has been keeping contact with bandits, supporting herders, insisted that the nomadic Fulani had been victims of banditry.
Gumi has been defending Fulani herders activities across the country and has been communicating with bandits, putting pressure on the Nigerian government to pay bandits ransom for the release of kidnapped Nigerians.
He has also been trying to prevail on the government to create a ministry for Fulani herders and bandits.
He said, “Government should focus more attention on these people because they always say that they are aggrieved.
“What I expect from the government is nothing less than what it did when the Niger Delta youths were vandalising the economy.
“These people are also disturbing the Nigerian agriculture which is the backbone of the national economy. I think the government needs to be more proactive; they need attention.
“The least they need is the Ministry of Nomadic Affairs that will look into their affairs.”
He added, “The issue that stands out glaringly is that pastoralists are both victims and villains largely because their voices are muffled by an unimaginable level of illiteracy and lack of know-how.
“Often their rights are trampled upon or denied, leading to in many cases avoidable violence in the Nigerian society. Thus, the necessity to establish a nongovernmental and apolitical organisation dedicated to peace and harmonious coexistence between various groups and ethnicities, especially amongst headers and farmers.”