By Khalid Idris Doya
Former Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda has claimed that Fulani herdsmen have been source of revenue generation for Nigeria dating back to 1907, after the conquest of Danfodio and the introduction of indirect rule by the colonial masters who authorised the payment of cattle tax ‘Jangali’ on Fulani herdsmen which then was the only source of revenue for the federal government.
“It is not a hearsay, for I myself has the copy of paper document on which the then ruler, Lord Lugard signed through the office of Secretary to the Federal Government directing the payment of cattle tax ‘Jangali’ by the Fulani herdsmen on their cattle. Then there wasn’t any source of revenue but the cattle tax ‘Jangali”, the former governor said in Bauchi Saturday.
Mallam Isa Yuguda, who was speaking during the formal launching of BAATOL Fulaku Sociocultural Development Association at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi yey, recalled that the indirect rulers (Lugard) sought for sources of revenue to the then Nigerian Government but to no avail, before he subsequently landed on the Fulani herdsmen to pay tax for their cattle, hence the cattle tax ‘Jangali’ by the government.
The former however regretted that today the Fulani herdsmen were the most neglected citizens of the country whose rights as citizens have been trampled by powers that be, only to be christened as bandits or armed robbers.
He explained concern that Fulani have always been on the defensive side especially when their cattle are being rustled and in trying regain them or guards against seizure were being called all sort of names, while nothing is being done to provide them social amenities such as schools, hospitals or infrastructural facilities like grazing lands or cattle routes.
According to him, even government interventions in agriculture or livestock production have deprived the Fulani people, as nothing is being done by governments at all levels to raise their standard of living as other citizens in the country adores, querying “What a country calls Nigeria”.
Mallam Isa Yuguda therefore urged each and every eligible voting Fulani to ensure the safety of his/her permanent voters’ card (PVC) as the only way to install or elect a responsible that could meet the needs and aspiration of communities in the country, saying the 27 existing Fulani associations across the country would soon sit to politically chart a way forward in tandem with their designed blueprint.
The National Chairman of the Baatol Fulaku Sociocultural Development Association, Hon. Muhammad Dahiru Lamido has earlier expressed delight with the unveiling of Baajol Fulaku, a registered socio- cultural organization aimed at enhancing and promoting unity, enhancing progressive ideas, enlightening nomads on modern ways of farming, promoting Fulbe culture and heritage among others.
He expressed satisfaction that Baajol Fulaku has gone national with each region and state of the federation adequately represented in the leadership/membership of the organization which, among others, focusses on the establishment of support and cooperation with Government, security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders among Fulani communities in order to bring an end of the lingering crisis between farmers and nomads.
Alhaji Muhammad Lamido expressed the believe that enhanced harmony, cooperation, understanding and mutual co-existence could be a panacea towards the attainment of lasting peace in our country, and expressed worrisome at the rate in which nomads are usually subjected to series of victimizations, injustice, and lampooned in most cases without adequate investigation.
“As human beings, we are not perfect and still have room for improvement. At this point, we want to state clearly that we always welcome constructive criticisms and suggestions that would improve our activities towards achieving our objectives. We as an organization will embrace all those who are committed to the development of the wellbeing of the nomads by improving their lives so that they will continue to do their best in improving the economy and wellbeing of the Nation”.
Lamido commended the efforts of the present administration in the state under the tutelage of Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed for its dedication, determination, commitment and resourcefulness in ensuring adequate security to lives and properties of the people of Bauchi state, and thanked former governor, Malam Isa Yuguda for his support and fatherly advice which guides the success of the Baajol Fulaku association to date.