From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Miffed by an alleged attack on Fulani herders in some states in the South-West and South-East, President Muhammadu Buhari’s kinsmen, yesterday, blasted the Federal Government for allegedly not protecting them.
The kinsmen operating under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), extended their fury to governors of the region by rejecting a proposed security outfit, “Shege ka Fasa’ and the ban on open grazing without providing alternative means of feeding their cattle.
CNG Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement, contended that the rejection of Shega Ka Fasa had vindicated CNG giving the manner the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu is allegedly deploying the Eastern Security Network on innocent citizens as well as the emerging threats of the Amotekun in the South West.
While calling on Fulani communities whose lives and livestock assets are threatened in other parts of the country to relocate to the North, he backed
Sheikh Gumi initiative for the engagement that could lead to amnesty, reorientation, reintegration, of repentant bandits.
“Based on the current scenario and past events, the CNG can today conveniently prove that the treatment meted on northerners in other parts of the country is a situation that has its roots in history.
“On the 3rd of July, 2020, CNG took strong exception to the decision of the federal government to suspend its Ruga settlement initiative owing to pressure from the South which was regrettably greeted with harsh reactions from northern political and traditional leaders.
“Following fresh threats of ejection of herders by some southern groups and governments over the Ruga issue, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF and the CNG, advised the Fulani to relocate peacefully to the North, if their safety was not assured by the federal government and the state governments where they lived.
“This too was challenged by the northern political leaders, a section of the elite and a self-serving faction of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
“The presidency was also quick to react by insisting on every Nigerian’s right to live anywhere and pledging to protect the pastoral communities from threats anywhere. “
“Today the CNG’s warning that the presidency should be held responsible for any harm against the pastoral communities in other parts of the country has come to pass with government failing to enforce their guaranteed right to live freely and flourish peacefully, anywhere in the country.
“And on January 26, 2020, CNG called the attention of northern leaders to the need for a northern regional security outfit to promote security in the region and to anticipate and checkmate the likely fallout of the evolvement of similar outfits like the Amotekun in the South West that were pregnant with complications and unforeseen consequences.
“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.
“Today, the CNG stands vindicated with the manner the outlawed IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu is deploying the South East Security Network on innocent citizens as well as the emerging threats of the Amotekun in the South West,” he said.
He continued: “We advise all law-abiding members of Fulani communities whose lives and livestock assets are threatened in other parts of the country without hope for protection from the federal authorities or their host communities, to take steps for immediate relocation to the North by herding our earlier warning that a government that cannot secure towns, cities and capitals can definitely not be expected to protect those living in forests.
“Thereafter we shall consider a review of the northern position in the context of a Nigeria in which the legal guarantees of persons are deployed against particular citizens in favour of certain ethnic gangs who apparently believe that others have no rights in Nigeria.
“We emphatically 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 in order to cover its serial mis-governance and pervasive institutional and structural corruption.
“We solidly stand with the Sheikh Ahmed Gumi initiative for engagement that could lead to amnesty, reorientation, reintegration, re-assimilation for those who embrace peace and 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 counterproductive use of force for further bloodshed preferred by Elrufai and his ilk.”
He concluded: We call on the unwary northern population to note that the unfolding scenario is part of a wider plot to destroy the north’s political viability by deepening the unnecessary divisions and communal distrust created by southern politicians through exploiting cleavages of religious and ethnic nature.
“For too long, enemies of the North both foreign and local have plotted to ensure that the region remains backward, divided, weak, confused and bewildered by myriads of challenges and problems.
“It started with the systematic dislocation of the strong bond among all northern communities by inciting divisions between Muslims and Christians and pitting the central part of the region against the core North.
“In continuum of this, attempts were made at causing rifts between the communities of the North East and those of the North West in particular.
The unfolding scenario is targeted at splitting the Hausa communities of the North West from the Fulani with whom they have blended for several decades which must be resisted by all means.
“Meanwhile, northerners everywhere must raise their level of vigilance to avoid playing into the hands of people who desire to achieve dubious political goals by pitting citizens against each other.”