The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and the Coalition of the Northern Groups on Tuesday told Fulani herders to as a matter of importance leave the Southern parts of the country and relocate back to the north where the safety of their lives and properties are guaranteed.
The Northern elders and the northern youths also expressed serious concerns that Southern leaders have openly threatened war against the Fulani herders thus the urgent need for the them (Fulani herders) to relocate to where their safety is assured.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting of the Northern Elders Forum with Coalition of Northern Groups on Tuesday in Abuja, the Northern youths requested for the return of all the Fulani herdsmen to the north.
This is as the Chairman of NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi supported the position, adding that it was borne out of the realisation that the lives of Fulani herders have been put at risk due to the actions and utterances of Southern Governors in recent days.
In the words of Ango; “We are worried about their wellbeing. If it is true that their safety can no longer be guaranteed, we rather have them back in areas where their safety is guaranteed. The bottom line is that their safety is far more important than their stay there. This is a country we all wish to keep together and not at the expense of other section.”
Ango canvassed for the establishment of a judicial enquiry to determine the quantum of loss of properties by herdsmen and farmers and compensation due to each of the warring parties.
In his comments, CNG’s spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the situation is worsened after a section of the Southern leadership introduced a fresh round of instigations by indiscriminately blaming the death of the daughter of the Afenifere leader Fashoranti on the Fulani herdsmen and threatening reprisals on Northerners contrary to the spot account of her own driver and the official explanation by the police that the culprits were yet to be identified.
Suleiman further said; “Throwing caution to the winds, Gani Adams, Fani Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and a host of other southern regionalists shamelessly insisted on changing the narratives around killing of the Fashoranti lady. In the process, they threatened all forms of violations and breaches against northerners including the threat of an all-out war.
“With all these statements and steps taken by the southern governors and opinion leaders, we are worried that none of the northern governors or federal official has deemed it apt to caution them.
“The failure or neglect of the police to trace a connection between the Fashoranti murder and the seeming prearranged conduct of Fani Kayode, Odumakin and Adams by their haste to shift the blame in order to render the Fulani object of attack is certainly suspicious.
“We are concerned about the sincerity of the federal government in implementing the NLTP going by the manner previous efforts at executing development projects like the Mambila hydro-electric power project and several initiatives on the herdsmen dilemma were invariably stalled.
“We are equally worried that the NLTP is vested in the office of the vice president that is believed to have frustrated previous project meant for the north. We find it difficult to trust the commitments of this government which has for the past four years failed to execute any positive initiative towards resolving the herders problems nor shown any encouraging concern for the dilemma of the Fulani who have been attacked in various states.
“Based on the above observations sir, and the fact that the instigation of hatred against the Fulani persists, we feel obliged to advice the leadership of the Northern Elders Forum to consider calling on the Fulani to forego their right to live and flourish anywhere in the south and relocate to their various states in the north to ensure their safety noting the inherent return value of such denial.”