Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged all Nigerians to ignore the recent call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to Fulani herders, asking them to leave the southern part of the country.
He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to help keep the peace in the country.
The NEF and the Coalition of the Northern Groups (CNGs) had on Tuesday asked Fulani herdsmen to leave the southern part of the country.
They said the herdsmen should return to the North where their (herdsmen) safety and that of their property could be guaranteed.
But in a statement, the President, through his Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he said: “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.”
The president questioned the intentions of the NEF and the other so-called leaders in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice.
“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 herders-farmers’ clashes in different parts of Nigeria- one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.”