In order to protect the rights of the Fulani people in Nigeria, an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, on Friday, announced the formation of the Nomadic Rights Concern (NORIC).
According to Gumi, NORIC’s sole mandate would be to protect the interests of herders across Nigeria through the use of legal means.
While stating the objectives of the newly formed NORIC during an interaction with journalists in Kaduna, the cleric said the persecution and stereotyping of Fulani herdsmen and their arbitrary arrest across the country was the reason behind the formation of the group.
He added that the nomadic Fulani had been victims of banditry as well, and wondered why they should be tagged bandits when they were victims as well.
Sheikh Gumi further explained the reasons for registering the NORIC with the Corporate Affairs Commission in June 2021 to include:
“Bridging the gap between herdsmen and the larger society, addressing the issue of banditry, developing modern scientific methods of livestock breeding, overall development of livestock rearing sector among others.
“The issue that stands out glaringly is that pastoralists are both victims and villains largely because their voices are muffled by an unimaginable level of illiteracy and lack of know-how.
“Often, their rights are trampled upon or denied, leading to, in many cases, avoidable violence in the Nigerian society.
“Thus, the necessity to establish a nongovernmental and apolitical organization dedicated to peace and harmonious coexistence between various groups and ethnicities, especially amongst headers and farmers,” Gumi said in a statement he issued.
He pointed out that the newly formed group would not only stand for the oppressed Fulani herders, but all individuals who may have been affected by any form of injustice or the other would as well be the primary concern of NORIC.