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The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has disclosed that the Igbo are subject to attacks in crisis periods because they are visible entrepreneurs located in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
The Sultan also said real herdsmen, who own cows, don’t kill but only criminals that parade as herdsmen kill.
He, therefore, challenged security agents to find out sources of sophisticated arms being used by criminals in the guise of herdsmen. The Sultan spoke at a grand reception organized in his honour at Nsukka, yesterday, where he was welcomed back 39 years after he lived in the university town as a young soldier.
Sultan said: “I want to say that nobody in the North aims to kill any Igbo because he is an Igboman. They are killed because they are the industrious ones found everywhere and in every village but nobody plans or sends people to kill the Igbo.
“The closest man to my late father, Beke, was an Igboman and when he died, he was buried in the palace. We are all equal before God Almighty and the two major religions preach peace and love in their holy books.
Real herdsmen don’t kill “No herdsman that has cattle kills. It is the criminals that do not own cattle that kill. They are mere criminals and more criminalities are committed even outside the country. They go around pretending to be herdsmen.
“Where do they get the AK-47 rifles that they use in killing? That’s the question I’ve asked and we don’t have answers yet. We need to find out what the issues are.” The Sultan, who noted that returning to Nsukka was a home coming for him, said he started his adult life in Nsukka, adding that justice is a panacea for peaceful coexistence.
He said: “For a leader to be loved by his people, he has to do the right thing. Development is what Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is doing in Enugu State. I said I must be in Nsukka because I started my adult life in Nsukka and made friends.
“I had the best meeting with the Christian religious leaders in Enugu and we told ourselves the truth. Rev. Fr. Mbaka exposed the ignorance that had existed between us. We discussed herdsmen issues and we told ourselves the truth and that is the essence of dialogue.
“We have seen massive transformation from Opi to Nsukka that when you get to the road, you would think it is leading to a big town.”