To meet Northern Govs next week
By Omeiza Ajayi
The Northern Elders Forum,NEF has asked the federal and state governments to stop what it described as the harassment of the Fulani and their cattle, as well as inciting remarks regarding the now-suspended Ruga project which was designed to settle herders across the country.
Deputy Convener, Northern Elders Forum, Amb. Yahaya Kwande who gave the charge in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said Nigeria as a country should rather remain sensitive to its rising deficit in security of lives and economic assets.
The NEF said, “Federal and State governments must adopt policies and positions which address the harassment of Fulani and their cattle, de-escalation of inciting rhetorics and actions and short and long-term solutions to the problems which could damage the livestock industry, worsen community relations and threaten national security.
“The nation should remain sensitive to its rising deficits in security of lives and economic assets, and must do everything possible not to escalate tensions and distrust among Nigerians.”
The Forum said it has followed with keen interest the raging controversy since the Federal Government hinted at moves to introduce “a certain Ruga scheme,” as well as diverse positions adduced by groups and interests from the South and those from Northern Nigeria.
In particular, NEF said it has taken note of the representations made at a Press Conference held by the Coalition of Northern Groups on the latest developments in the failure to find solutions to the problems related to management of the livestock assets of Nigerians, particularly cattle of the Fulani.
While the Forum said it has also taken due notice of the intense reactions which the statement by the Coalition generated across the country, it added that it has been contacted by a broad spectrum of interests and opinions to use its position to calm nerves and assist in the search for a practical and fair resolution of the situation.
Parleys Northern Govs
“Interestingly, NEF has also received the decent and statesmanlike reaction of the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State in which he disclosed the Forum’s move to reach out to stakeholders in the matter including the Northern Groups represented by CNG. NEF acknowledges that the Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman has also made similar overture to its leadership and a meeting has been fixed for next week.