Posted on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 08:24 AM

Members of the Northern Elders Forum and the Coalition of the Northern Groups have ordered all Fulani herdsmen to return to the northern part of the country from wherever they may be around the southern part of Nigeria.

This directive is coming as tension continues to rise among ethnic groups, fueled by federal government's failure to properly manage the clashes between herders and farming communities.

The groups while issuing the order said it is only in the North that the security of the herders and their property can be guaranteed. 

The tension grew after Saturday's killing of the daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti, by gunmen initially reported in the media as suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Though that narrative has shifted a bit, but the bad blood it worsened remained.

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At a press conference after a meeting of the NEF with the CNGs on Tuesday in Abuja, where the youths demanded the return of all the Fulani herders to the North, the NEF’s chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, also backed the youth’s position.

Spokesman of the youths, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman, told the elders the reasons for their decisions. He said that after the death of Fasoranti's daughter, dangerous verbal attacks were made against the Fulanis.

“Throwing caution to the winds, Gani Adams, Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and a host of other southern regionalists shamelessly insisted on changing the narratives around the killing of the Fasoranti lady.

“In the process, they threatened all forms of violations and breaches against northerners including the threat of an all-out war.

“With all these statements and steps taken by the southern governors and opinion leaders, we are worried that none of the northern governors or federal official has deemed it apt to caution them.

“The failure or neglect of the police to trace a connection between the Fasoranti daughter’s murder and the seeming prearranged conduct of Fani-Kayode, Odumakin and Adams by their haste to shift the blame in order to render the Fulani object of attack is certainly suspicious," Sulaiman said.

While the deaths from herdsmen and farmers clashes were being counted, the federal government introduce the RUGA programme where lands will be acquired from states accross the federation for the settlement of herdsmen.

The policy has since been suspended after it was trailed by criticisms and rejections from states mostly in the southern part of the country. 

In response, the Coalition of the Northern Groups issued a 30-day ultimatum to reverse the suspension, still fueling an already tensed polity.


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