By Vincent Ujumadu
A Fulani group, Coalition of Fulbe Professionals in Africa, COFPIA, has distanced itself from a statement credited to the national secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Alhasan Salah in which he said that Fulani people would not vote for the candidate of the Labour Party ( LP), Mr Peter Obi, in the 2023 general elections, insisting that Myetti Allah does not represent the Fulani and therefore cannot speak for them.
A statement signed by the national president of COFPIA, Professor Mohammed Gidado and national secretary, Hajiya Mairo Modibo said while it acknowledged Miyetti Allah’s right to freedom of expression and opinion, the group ( Miyetti Allah) does not have the right to speak for the entire Fulani in Nigeria.
According to COFPIA, Fulbe people all over Nigeria would not be bound by what it called politically sponsored statement of Miyetti Allah.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a sectional, unpatriotic, ungodly and senseless statement credited to one of our brothers, Alhajji Hassan Saleh, the national secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the most controversial Fulani group in Nigeria, which no doubt, is responsible for the bad name Fulani nation has been branded with in Nigeria.
“We, the Fulbe all over Nigeria, will not be bound by that politically sponsored statement of Miyetti Allah anymore.
“The Fulani people are wise now and cannot be used as tools of extortion and religious sentiment any more.
“We will enlighten our people to vote for competence and capacity come 2023. We will never vote for any candidate who has nothing to offer as we have gone far beyond religious and ethnic sentiments.
“We will vote for a president that will tackle poverty and acute hunger that have held our people hostage for so long. We will vote for a president that will fight insecurity with every commitment and unbiased mind, no matter who is in involved.
“Our respected tribal group, Miyette Allah, should channel its campaign to redeem the bad image it has created for Fulani people in Nigeria, rather than casting aspersions on Peter Obi, who has demonstrated capacity to rescue Nigeria from the current hopelessness.
“We wish to also make it categorically clear that we have not endorsed Peter Obi or any presidential candidate in the forth coming general elections and we are not Peter Obi’s mouthpiece, but it is wrong for our people to continue to brand Peter Obi as a tribal bigot and that he doesn’t like the North.”
COFPIA added that available data had shown Peter Obi as an ardent nationalist that believes in the unity of Nigeria and advised its brothers in the Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore, to only speak for their group, rather than mislead Nigerians that they were speaking for the entire Fulani people.
“They lack the moral, spiritual and religious rights to speak for the entire Fulani people in Nigeria, especially when they have reduced themselves to tribal bigots that have no regards for other tribes and faiths.
”Nigerians have taken position in the forth- coming election to vote for the best man for the job and cannot be distracted by any selfish agenda and blackmail.
“As campaigns start, we shall mobilize and enlighten Fulani, young and old, to sensitize our people so as not to be deceived by Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore and its like”, COFPIA stated.