Northern Elders Forum has expressed worry over rising threats, attacks and ejection of Fulani herdsmen in Southern Nigeria, and has called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to protect the tribe.
The forum in a statement issued on Tuesday by Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, said it has been receiving reports of the threats and was moved to draw the attention of authorities to the dangers which these attacks represent.
Baba-Ahmed argued that a vast majority of the Fulani’s are law-abiding, adding that they have the constitutional right to live lawfully wherever they can find means of subsistence.
While cautioning people against threatening the law-abiding Fulani herders, the forum reminded that there are criminals in all ethnic groups, adding that it would be dangerous to demonize a particular tribe.
The forum, therefore, called for arrest and prosecution of persons attacking Fulani, stressing that the Fulani tribe will not be ejected from any Nigerian community only on the basis of being Fulani or herding cattle.
“Northern Elders Forum is deeply worried by reports of ejections under threats and attacks on Fulani herders, families and communities in some states of the South.
“The Forum has been receiving these reports since the night of Sunday, January 31, and had taken the responsible step by drawing the attention of authorities to the dangers which these attacks represent for all Nigerians.
“We have also advised law-abiding Fulani communities to seek protection where it is available, and have appealed to other Fulani to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands.
“Like all Nigerians who can be found in every inch of Nigeria, the rights of the Fulani will not be abridged by criminals hiding behind ethnic interests to exterminate them.
“The Forum calls on President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors to take immediate and decisive steps to protect law-abiding members of Fulani communities from killers and criminals who apparently believe that Fulani has no rights in Nigeria,” the Northern Elders stated.
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