BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to Fulani herdsmen to ignore call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), urging them to leave Southern Nigeria, has been described as apt and timely.
President Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said all citizens of Nigeria are free to move and live in any part of the country they please, whether or not they are originally from there.
Buhari said; “In line with our constitution the government of Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will protect citizens of Nigeria wherever they find themselves.”
Reacting to the President’s statement, some it as a solution to the grandstanding by regional leaders over the fate of the Fulani herders outside the North, adding that the need for security to all categories of Nigerians residing anywhere in the country is what is desirable.
A cross section of residents in Kaduna described the step taken by the present administration to prove that it listens to calls by its citizens as commendable.
In his comment, Alhaji Kabir Boga, a resident of Unguwar Sarki, Kaduna, said; “The Northern population has agitated over the safety of the Fulani living in other parts of the country who might not necessarily be involved in commission of any crime especially with reports of salient and latent threats of assaulting them coming from some leaders of southern communities.”
Boga said that President Buhari deserves commendation for his timely intervention and for harkening to the people’s agitation expressed in the several correspondences by the northern elders group led by Professor Ango and the youth groups coalition.
AHe said, “By assuring every Nigerian including the estranged Fulani of government’s readiness to uphold their rights to live in any part of Nigeria without fear of molestation, Buhari has shown that he is a listening president contrary to the pervading suspicion that he had abandoned the people to their fate by his earlier silence.”
Another respondent, Musa Zubair of Tudun Nufawa, Kaduna, said both government and the Professor Ango led group deserve commendation because the Fulani and the North were under threat when Buhari was silent as the threats were mounting from southern leaders especially after the killing of the daughter of Chief Fasoranti.
Zubair said; “Our people in the South can now feel free to remain in the South with the assurance of security from government. Otherwise with those threats, no northerner would feel safe to stay in the South if government had not spoken.”
He urged the elders to continue their good work by monitoring to ensure that people are safe, adding that elders are not expected to remain silent when their people face problems.