President Muhammadu Buhari has urged herdsmen to disregard the call the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to vacate the southern part of the country.
NEF had asked all herdsmen to return to the North as their safety and that of their property could no longer be guaranteed. The forum alleged that some southern leaders had openly threatened war against the herdsmen.
However, in a statement by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president said no one has the right to ask anyone or group to leave any part of the country.
He questioned the intentions of NEF and “other so- called leaders in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice”, the president warned those dabbling into issues to score cheap points not to mislead anyone.
Buhari added that his administration is committed to finding a lasting solution to the farmers-herders crisis in “a way that will be acceptable to all”.
“All citizens of Nigeria are free to move and live within any part of the country they please, whether or not they are originally from there.
“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. They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements.
“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.”
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