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“Fulani Herdsmen” Attacks: Demand For Northerners To Return Home Is “Premature” – Group


By Seun Adebosin

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Torrent calls by ethnic groups and individuals from the South East and the South West for Northerners to leave the region, has been considered improper as a viable solution to end the bloody clash being prompted by the suspected Fulani herdsmen in the two regions of the country.

A group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) Tuesday described the calls as “premature, unjustifiable and untenable”. The calls for certain ethnic groups to leave particular regions, the group Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola alleged in Lagos that the advocacy was “tainted with ethnic jingoism”, insisting “they are as parochial as they are myopic”.

“Our position is based on facts, emerging from the police investigations into alleged Fulani killings and attacks. For example, the Elogba and the Egba in Benue State clash which claimed 60 lives was blamed on Fulani herdsmen. The kidnappers of Chief Olu Falae who were citizens of Niger State were led by one Baba Olu, a Yoruba man, but Fulani herdsmen were blamed for it.

“It is didactic that the Police have absolved Fulani herdsmen from blame over the killings in Nimbo community of Enugu State. Equally instructive is the fact that the Inspector General of Police has issued a similar statement. We advise Nigerians to stop calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

“It is sad that pictures of herdsmen in Sudan, Mali, Niger and Chad brandishing AK 47 rifles are taken from the internet and displayed to gullible Nigerians as Fulanis on Nigerian soil. This is quite misleading, highly mischievous and grossly provocative. It is incitement on a large scale. The Nigerian press is advised to desist from playing to the gallery” MURIC cautioned.

It therefore appealed to Nigerians to separate individuals with criminal propensity from their tribes and religions, reasoning that every Nigerian tribe has its own criminals, lay-abouts, never-do-wells, busy-bodies and area boys, “yet every Nigerian ethnic group has its men and women of honour, men and women of timber and caliber, including Fulanis and Igbos in particular”.

Similarly, the group called for objective appraisal of incidents and cautioned against generalization, sensationalism, stigmatization of Fulani herdsmen and the profiling of Northerners or their religion. It also alerted that a time bomb is waiting to explode and none can visualize its reach or its victims.

MURIC advised: “We must not allow people who nurse anti-Fulani and anti-North agenda to blow this country apart. Neither should we allow politics of resentment and unsubstantiated minority claims of marginalization to becloud our sense of critical analysis at this point in time.

“We have all the law we need to punish the individual Fulani, Igbo or Yoruba if he commits any crime. But we have no moral right to target a whole ethnic group for annihilation”.

Akintola in his statement called on all Nigerians to “allow one love to keep us together”.

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