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‘Seriki Fulani speaks better Yoruba than I do’ — Dapo Abiodun condemns ethnic profiling

‘Seriki Fulani speaks better Yoruba than I do’ — Dapo Abiodun condemns ethnic profiling
February 21
12:06 2021

Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, says ethnic profiling is part of the farmer-herder problems.

There has been ethnic tension recently in some Ogun communities where herders, mostly of Fulani extraction, were accused of kidnapping and killings.

But after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the farmer-herder crisis, Abiodun said it is wrong to tag Fulanis criminals.

He said Fulanis have lived in Ogun for centuries and the Seriki Fulani in Ogun speaks better Yoruba than him.

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“I must say that the Fulanis have lived with us in Ogun state for hundreds of years. The Seriki Fulani from that particular corridor speaks better Yoruba than I do because his father was born there,” he said.

“Part of the problems we realised we had was ethnic profiling, criminals are criminals and criminals abound everywhere. There are criminals in Yorubaland, there are criminals in Igboland, there are criminals in the Niger Delta, there are criminals in the north and we see that even in the north, in the northeast, in the north-central, we see that there are criminals activities.

“Our people have had a problem with drawing a line between peaceful Fulani people, who are traditionally herdsmen, and bandits who are cattle rustlers, who will steal cattle, take the cattle to farmlands belonging to people, attack them. Now farmers and indigenes now carry out counter attacks against innocent people that have been living with us.”

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The governor said although there are people legitimately residing in the forests, they have also become the habitation of criminals stoking ethnic tensions around the country.

He stressed the need for Serikis to keep registers of farmers so as to determine when undesirable elements infiltrate their ranks.

The governor also urged the federal government to initiate concrete steps to tighten the nation’s border posts to prevent influx of foreigners who engage in criminals activities and flee to their countries afterwards.

“These are some of the things that we found to have aided this violence and escalated it and we believe that if the right steps are taken, we can manage the situation and we can live together as brothers and sisters, as we’ve always lived for so many years,” he said.

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