Muktar Ahmed, Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Delta State, has reacted to attacks and killings in some parts of the state by Fulani herdsmen.
He said Delta is their home and they have no other place to go.
Ahmed stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, while condemning the killings.
He rejected insinuations that it is a religious war, saying no verse in the Holy Quran permits Muslims to kill none Muslims in order to go to heaven.
He lamented that for many years, they have been living peacefully with their host communities, until the bad eggs among them began to create enmity between them and their hosts.
He said: “Let me be sincere with you, the Fulani that we knew in those days for cattle rearing are not the same Fulani we know nowadays. I believe that Delta State, South -South states in general, and the communities have accommodated Fulani people by giving them shelter but at the end of the day, they have continued to disappoint the host communities by killing them.
“I recall that one chief they kiIIed in Kwale happened to be a man that had been providing Fulani people with shelter and water. At the end of the day, it was the same Fulani people that kiIIed him even though he did nothing wrong.
“The kiIIings have nothing to do with Islam and Christianity. It is not a religious matter. We, the Arewa leaders in the state, condemn such attacks. We don’t have any other state, Delta is our state; most of us were born here. In my own case, even my father was born here. So, where am I going to?
“The Fulani people here are the ones inviting their brothers to come here because they can be accommodated. We have told them (herders) to cooperate with us and the host communities to stop the attacks because with what is happening now, I tell you, there is a serious danger.
“For example, in Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has been convening regular meetings with Fulani people and urging communities to accommodate them (Fulani people) to the extent that the communities have accused the governor of backing Fulani people. At the end of the day, the so – called Fulani disappointed Okowa by kiIIing people in the host communities.
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“Like me, I was born and bred here in Asaba, Delta State. My grandparents came here in 1880; that was when the first mosque was built here. So, if there was any war between Muslims and Christians, the community would not have allowed us to build our mosque. So, it is not a religious war. It is a selfish and political war.
“There is no verse in the Holy Quran that says we should kiII. People say it is in the Quran that when you kiII, you go to heaven. It is a big lie; we don’ t have such a verse in the Quran. When you kiII, whether a Christian or a Muslim, you will go to hell. Nobody has the right to take another person’s life.”