The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), yesterday, advised the Fulani communities who are under threat of ejections in some states of the South to relocate to the North.
The NEF, in a statement signed by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in Abuja, called on the Northern governors to urgently prepare to receive Fulani communities being forcefully ejected.
The forum, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to take immediate and decisive steps to protect law-abiding members of Fulani communities from killers and criminals.
The statement reads, “Northern Elders Forum is deeply worried by reports of ejections under threats and attacks on Fulani herders, families and communities in some states of the South.
“The forum has been receiving these reports since the night of Sunday, January 31, and had taken the responsible step by drawing the attention of authorities to the dangers which these attacks represent for all Nigerians.
“We have also advised law-abiding Fulani communities to seek protection where it is available, and have appealed to other Fulani to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands.
“It is necessary to warn people who threaten law-abiding Fulani communities in all parts of Nigeria, but particularly in some parts of the South, to desist. The vast majority of Fulani are law-abiding and have rights to live lawfully wherever they can find means of subsistence.
“Like all Nigerians who can be found in every inch of Nigeria, the rights of the Fulani will not be abridged by criminals hiding behind ethnic interests to exterminate them. Citizens and groups who play the role of police and other law-enforcement agencies are committing crimes, and they must be stopped by leaders who are sworn to protect the law and security of all Nigerians.
“The forum reminds the nation that there are criminals in all ethnic groups, and the nation will be treading dangerous grounds if it continues to tolerate the demonization of entire groups over particular types of crimes.
“The forum calls on President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to take immediate and decisive steps to protect law-abiding members of Fulani communities from killers and criminals who apparently believe that Fulani have no rights in Nigeria.
“It demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of persons who are attacking Fulani and setting the country on a very dangerous path. The forum repeats its earlier position: the Fulani will not be ejected from any Nigerian community only on the basis of being Fulani or herding cattle within the limits of laws and regulations.
“States which seek to limit criminal activities are perfectly entitled to do so, but they must follow due process, and avoid exposing innocent citizens to danger at all cost. The forum demands that the Nigeria Police must live up to its constitutional responsibility to detect crimes and arrest and prosecute criminals, whoever they are.
“No politician has the right to outsource the work of the police to local thugs and gangs. If communities in parts of the country insist that the lawful Fulani is unwelcome and has no right to their security, then the forum will advise them to relocate to the North. Northern governors should move urgently to prepare to receive Fulani communities being forcefully ejected.
“The forum appeals again for all Nigerians to exercise restraint and not to play into hands of people who desire to achieve dubious political goals by pitching citizens against each other.
“Persons who inflame passions by circulating videos and other materials should also desist. The forum hopes that Nigerians will see firm, fair and responsible leadership from all elected leaders without delay.”
Insecurity In Nigeria Will End Soon, FG Boasts
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, says the recent supplementary budget sent to the National Assembly will help the federal government end insecurity in Nigeria.
Osinbajo spoke when he received the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Adeola Adeniyi Ajakaiye at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
At the meeting was the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, and Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.
The VP appealed urged traditional rulers, local and state governments to collaborate with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to tackle current challenges.
Osinbajo recalled that Buhari recently constituted a committee to look at the security infrastructure of the country.
“The result of that is a bill before the National Assembly, a supplementary bill. The purpose is to present some of the needs of the military and other security agencies to beef up our response.
“I can assure you that soon, the issue of insecurity will be a thing of the past. We will all live in peace and prosperity in this country.”
The VP advocated vigilance at the local level, noting that most of the troubling issues occur in communities.
Probe Gumi’s Allegations, HURIWA Tells Buhari
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute an independent investigative commission to probe the allegations that security operatives collude with bandits as raised by Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi.
HURIWA made the call in reaction to Gumi’s claims that the Nigeria Police Force, and the Army were colluding with bandits.
The rights group urged the NPF and the Nigerian Army to investigate probe the allegations.
The Nigerian Army, however, denied the allegation, while warning Gumi against making such claims.
But the Kaduna-based cleric insisted that some bad eggs in the security system were aiding banditry with weapons and drugs.
Reacting to the allegation, the HURIWA said the security agencies should “cover their faces in unmitigated shame for their shameless cowardice and pampering of the Kaduna Islamic cleric Ahmed Gumi, who continues to defend terrorists and flouting with reckless abandon, the Nation’s anti-terrorism law which prohibits aiding and abetting of terrorists.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Director of Press, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA dismissed as puerile, infantile, irrational illogical and cowardly, the official responses to the damaging allegations made by Gumi by the Army and police about the unholy communion between security forces and the terrorists terrorizing the whole of North-West carrying out a rash of kidnappings and killings.
Stressing that there are no smokes without fire, HURIWA said, “Whereas Sheikh Gumi has consistently accused the security forces of working with the terrorists, neither the Federal Government nor the security forces have instituted legal action against the prominent Kaduna based Islamic cleric who is credited by even the National Security Adviser of having unfettered access to the terrorists in the North-West of Nigeria.
“With his acclaimed access to the terrorists, is it not conceivably possible that he has some intelligence alluding to a possible unholy alliance between security forces and the terrorists?
“This clear display of unprofessionalism and cowardice by both the Army and police shows that after all, these allegations that the security forces work with terrorists deserves the most forensic and independent investigations.
“Dismissing these allegations with a mere wave of hands as have been done by the police and Army is totally unacceptable.”
The rights group then compared the tepid reactions of Army and police to Gumi’s “very elaborate accusations to the childish cries of the ‘Chihuahua pet dog.’
HURIWA said it does not make any sense that a person with considerable knowledge about the workings of terrorists in the North-West otherwise called armed bandits by the government has made such a major damaging claim of criminal collusion between security forces that ought to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and terrorists threatening national security, and the best response we can get are the childish cries from Army spokesman and the police.
“This is a crying shame,” HURIWA insists.
FRSC Dismisses Recruitment Rumours
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has cautioned job seekers against online fraudsters posing as its recruitment agents.
This is contained in a statement by Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, yesterday, in Abuja.
Kazeem said the clarification became necessary following desperate efforts by fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting job seekers.
He said the attention of the FRSC had been drawn to an online publication misinforming the public about the release of shortlisted names for recruitment.
“This is to let the public know that the corps is presently not recruiting neither is there any shortlisted candidates list published on any platform whatsoever.
“Our recruitment processes have always been transparent, credible and made public through adequate placements of advertorials and notifications on all available media platforms.
“This includes our website: www.frsc.gov.ng, our social media handles and the National Traffic Radio 107.1FM,’’ he said.
Kazeem advised members of the public “to desist from any form of engagement with the purveyors of misinformation and outright disinformation as the corps will not be liable should anyone fall victim’’.
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