- No herder should be prevented from doing his business in the southwest
- This is the position of the Northern Governors' Forum (NGF) which said it is against violence
- The NGF called on all stakeholders, including traditional rulers and security agencies to work together in achieving peace in the nation
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The Northern Governors' Forum (NGF) has kicked against the threats issued to herdsmen in southwest states over killings and kidnappings by some criminals.
The NGF, chaired by the governor of Plateau, Simon Lamong, in a statement noted that by these acts, herdsmen are barred from pursuing their legitimate business: cattle rearing, Punch reports.
The forum said that on one hand, successes are being celebrated in the area of emerging understanding through dialogue between herders and host communities, on the other, there are disturbing reports of attacks on the nomads by some persons in the region.
The NGF stated clearly that it has not and will never support any form of violence and the destruction of properties perpetuated by some ill-willed elements who commit evil in the guise of grazing.
Rather, the forum noted that such persons should be "exposed, isolated, and made to face the law of the land without prejudice to their ethnic backgrounds as the motives or criminal actions cannot be said to be the position of their ethnic group."
It also called for caution and calm for both parties as a way of dousing the tension, adding that traditional rulers and federal government agencies should speak with one voice and agree to flush out the bag eggs that are fanning the embers of division and ethnic differences.
The NGF stated:
“Leaders across political, ethnic, religious and community lines should avoid utterances and actions that further fan the embers of distrust, hate, violence, and retaliation which can easily escalate the situation and cause chaos.
“Security agencies must equally be firm and rise up to the occasion by protecting all law-abiding citizens against the threat to their lives and properties irrespective of their ethnic or other affiliations.
Meanwhile, Fulani leaders had apologised to the people of Iganga. The two leaders were the Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, and the Seriki Fulani of Eruwa, Alhaji Sule Mohammed.
They specifically asked for forgiveness from those offended by their kinsmen after townspeople narrated how they are being oppressed by the Fulani herders who kidnap and molest them in their own lands.