The coalition of Northern Groups CNG has said Fulani herdsmen whose safety cannot be guaranteed in their host communities should relocate.
The group expressed worry over increasing attacks and ejection of Fulani herdsmen in the country’s southern part.
The spokesperson of the coalition, Abdul Azeez Suleiman, noted that it is behind the Sheikh Ahmed Gumi initiative to grant amnesty for bandits terrorizing the region.
Part of the statement reads: “We repudiate the stand of the Northern Governors’ Forum against open grazing without first identifying suitable lands and creating grazing reserves and cattle routes after four years of lying about resettling the pastoralists through vogue initiatives that never materialized.
“We call on the Nigerian public to note that rather than working to ensure a united, secure one Nigeria, the Federal Government appears to be creating and fanning the present chaotic situation to cover its serial misgovernance and pervasive institutional and structural corruption.
“We solidly stand with the Sheikh Ahmed Gumi initiative for engagement that could lead to amnesty, reorientation, reintegration, assimilation for those who embraced peace, and a complete crackdown on those who reject peace.
“In this regard, we support and encourage the efforts of the Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and other reasonable state governments that prefer dialogue to the hardcore counter-productive use of force for further bloodshed preferred by El-rufai and his ilk,” he said.
The group said: “Regrettably, Northern Governors, traditional and political institutions rejected the proposal to accept, review, ratify and possibly adopt the “Shege ka Fasa’ initiative, which would have helped in forestalling the current drift toward victimization of northerners. Nowadays, the CNG stands vindicated with the manner, the outlawed IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu is deploying the Southeast Security Network on innocent citizens and the emerging threats of the Amotekun in the Southwest.
“CNG notes that the coordination of current operations against the herdsmen in parts of the South is allowed in the hands of non-state actors contrary to the proper position that only legally constituted outfits and lawfully sanctioned organizations under the direct control of the government, as recognized by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be so organized.
“CNG also notes that the ongoing actions, ostensibly to checkmate the rising tide of insecurity, are nevertheless without drawing distinctions between the Fulani as a race, or cattle herding as an occupation, from criminality.
“The CNG is concerned about the risk of neglecting the fact that all Fulani are not cattle herders or that although most cattle herders in Nigeria are Fulani, there are others that are not; or that just because some herdsmen commit crimes do not make all cattle herders criminals.
“CNG is further worried that the consciousness is eroding that the vast majority of the Fulani, including those who are cattle herders, are peaceful everyday people with the same needs, anxieties and hopes as the rest of Nigerians.”