The National Women Leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association, Hajiya Baheejah Mahmood, has said Nigeria will know the importance of Fulani if they go on strike for one week.
She lamented that the Fulani people has contributed a lot to the Nigerian economy but they benefited nothing in return.
She stated this in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune.
When asked on what the Fulani people has contributed to the economy of the country she said: “The Fulani contribute a lot to the economy of the country and its people. They provide the country with over 90 per cent of its meat requirement. The cattle provide beef; they rear chickens, guinea fowls, goat and sheep too.
“They contribute to the dairy (milk) production and supply of hides and skin of the country, which contributes to the GDP of the economy. The affordable meat and eggs consumed in Nigeria are largely as a result of the activities of the Fulani.
“During festivities of Muslims and Christians, and almost anything in-between, cattle, sheep and goats are used which are readily available as a result of the transhumance activities of the Fulani. All the products of the activities of the Fulani contribute to the nutritional enhancement of the country with provision of protein in form of meat, eggs and dairy.
She continued, “The Fulanis as a people gain next to nothing from the government of the country. Because they are mostly on the move, the Fulani’s do not benefit from the provision of basic amenities such as schools, hospitals and roads. They hardly know the importance of infrastructural items such as electricity, tap or borehole water and bridges.
“In fact, the Fulani only “buy into” infrastructural and economic development programs that are targeted at some other population, but not those targeted specifically at them. Before a program is designed specifically targeting the Fulani, thousands may have been developed for the “regular” population.
“No one thinks about them and their welfare and those of their cattle, despite the huge direct and in-direct contributions they make to the employment creation drive of the government. Groups such as butchers, traders in cattle and other animals, traders in hides and skin, makers of leather shoes and bags; and yoghurt-producing companies all depend on the animal product of the Fulani.
“What the Fulani need is a kind of public/private partnership (PPP) arrangement with the government to boost the production of the animals and their products.
“For example, if the Fulani should decide not to bring their livestock to the market for one week, all Nigerians will then know and appreciate their contribution to the economy and the well-being of Nigerians.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK