President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Fulani herdsmen to disregard directives from the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) asking them to leave the southern part of Nigeria.
Naija News recalls that NEF had stated that information at their disposal reveals that some individuals are plotting to harm herdsmen in the southern part of Nigeria.
Speaking after a meeting with the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs), Ango Abdullahi, chairman of the forum, asked herdsmen to leave the region if their safety is no longer guaranteed.
“If it is indeed true that their safety is not guaranteed in the places where they are residing, we would rather have them back into areas where their safety is guaranteed, and they should be coming back as much as possible to the north,” he said.
Reacting in a statement on Wednesday by his Media Assistant, Garba Shehu, Buhari said all Nigerians are free to move and live within any part of the country they please, whether or not they are originally from there.
The statement reads: “In line with our country’s constitution, the government of Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will protect citizens of Nigeria wherever they find themselves.
“No one has the right to ask anyone or group to depart from any part of the country, whether North, South, East or West.”
Speaking further, Garba Shehu stated that the northern elder had no authority to direct Fulani herdsmen to leave any part of Nigeria.
“The polarising role of the Northern Elders Forum and all those other groups dabbling into issues of security to score cheap political points has for long been a sore point in Nigeria’s body polity.
“They should not be allowed to mislead anyone, least of all the Fulani herders.
“The Buhari administration is fully devoted to finding a lasting solution to the herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria- one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved,” the statement added.