The 19 Northern Governors have taken a strong exception to the branding of perpetrators of crimes around the country as Fulani.
The Governors, rising from a meeting in Kaduna yesterday, said inasmuch as they condemned the recent attacks by suspected herdsmen in Enugu and other parts of the country, it was out of place by anyone to label all criminals as Fulani
Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said it was an insult to consider criminals as Fulani.
He said: “We want to unequivocally condemn the recent killings in Enugu and other parts of the country. But we equally condemn the politicization or permit me, the ‘ethinicisation’ of the whole crisis,” the governor said.
“It goes beyond Fulani. If anything happens, they say Fulani herdsmen. To me, it is an insult.
“Kidnapping in this country originated in the Southeast, were they called Igbo kidnappers? We have a great national challenge and we want to call on all and sundry to come and let us solve our common challenges as a people, because the blood of paternity that binds us together supersedes whatever differences that might divide us.”
In a related development, senators from the North, under the aegis of Northern Senators, have warned governors, leaders and community heads in the country to desist from making inflammatory statements that could further overheat the polity.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja, the northern senators promised that, as part of moves to nip in the bud the continued clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, the lawmakers would soon come up with new laws as well as amend existing ones to help promote the interest of Northern Nigeria in particular and the country at large.
They also warned that there would be no country called Nigeria, if other parts of the country asked Fulani herdsmen to leave their communities and states.
Reading a communique issued at the end of the meeting to journalists, Chairman, Northern Senators’ Forum, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West), said: “We appreciate the steps the Federal Government had taken so far to contain the problems of herdsmen/farmers clashes and call on community leaders to be careful when making statements on these ugly incidences.”
“If you don’t mind, in recent times, it started with the West when elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, had some very nasty experience. It was attributed at the time to Fulani herdsmen. At the end, those people were apprehended and they were not Fulanis. “This thing has been going on in virtually all parts of the country today. If we now say that everybody should rise and say herdsmen should leave, we will not have a country.