Buhari questioned NEF's intentions and the other so-called leaders in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice.
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has enjoined Nigerians to ignore the recent call by the Northern Forum (NEF) to herdsmen, asking them to return to their home states from the southern part of country.
He said no group has the right to issue such orders.
The President spoke barely 24 hours after the NEF and the Coalition of Northern Groups (NGF) in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Buhari questioned NEF’s intentions and the other so-called leaders in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice.
According to him, all Nigerians are free to live in any part of the country.
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.
“They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements. The polarising role of the NEF 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 herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria- one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.”
He called on all to maintain the peace in the country.
Some youths under the auspices of the True Northern Youths and Elites yesterday called on the NEF to atop misrepresenting them. The said berated the views contained in the statement jointly issued by the NEF and the CNG, saying they “are absurd and unreasonable”.
In an open letter titled: “Stop speaking on our behalf and stop misrepresenting our interest”, signed by the National Secretary, Mohammed Hassan, in Abuja, the group noted that the NEF and CNG were portraying northerners as cowards.
The letter reads: “We, The true northern youths and elite, reject the disappointing and disheartening statement by the northern groups, calling on the herdsmen back to the North, it shows a sincere sign of weakness and cowardice. It’s absurd and unreasonable.”