October 4, 2015

ACF to Afenifere: Stop branding Fulani herdsmen as criminals

ACF to Afenifere: Stop branding Fulani herdsmen as criminals


The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), yesterday, expressed embarrassment and disappointment with the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, for calling on the federal government to abolish no­madic cattle rearing to stop alleged criminal activities by herdsmen in Yoruba land.

ACF was reacting to a statement made by the lead­ership of Afenifere following the kidnapping and release of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae by some per­sons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

Herdsmen... as death merchants

Fulani herdsmen… 

Afenifere was said to have issued a communiqué after a meeting, saying, “If the Federal Government fails to stop Fulani herdsmen from attacking Yoruba people, it may result in a situation where the South-west people will have to defend them­selves”.

However, a statement issued by ACF National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, said, “ACF consid­ers Afenifere statement as reckless and unbecoming of a highly respected group like the Afenifere that chooses to criminalize a whole race or tribe or region instead of the individual criminals, moreover, our law books provides the process of dealing with such suspected criminals rather than arrogating such powers to ourselves.

“Nigeria has over 250 tribes and Yoruba is just one of them, for it to threaten other tribes just because of an alleged crime of some suspected herdsmen is unnecessary, emotional and contrary to the spirit and letters of the Nigerian constitution which guarantees free movement and association of citizens in any part of the country”.

This was even as the ACF also condemned Friday suicide bombing of Nyanya and Kuje areas of Abuja, saying the incident was too worrisome despite success being recorded by the military in tackling Boko Haram insurgency.

“ACF is also saddened by the news of the multiple suicide bomb blasts that occurred on Thursday 1st Oc­tober in Maiduguri and that of Friday night at Kuje and Nyanya in the FCT all with­in the week, which killed scores of innocent people and injured many.

“This recent and frequent bomb attacks on innocent people is worrisome despite the successes being recorded by the military in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency.

“ACF once more urges the security agencies to be more proactive in the discharge of their responsibilities while the community should be more vigilant and also share intelligence with the security agencies to avert these unwarranted bombings.

“ACF extends its condolences to the families of those killed by the bomb blast, the Government and people of Borno state and the FCT and also appeals to the authorities to take care of the injured and provide them with basic rehabilitation needs,” the statement added.