The Coalition of Northern Groups has asked the Federal Government to take immediate steps to evacuate all herdsmen currently in the South back to the north.
This, the group said, was in the light of the unfolding scenario set by the ratification of a regime of laws that potentially seek to limit the free movement of herders in the 17 Southern Nigerian states.
A statement by CNG’s Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in Kaduna on Tuesday said a study had shown that at present, only 10% of the Fulani herdsmen live and conduct business in the entire South.
“With the incessant show of animosity against the pastoral communities by the people of the South and their leaders, it has become a matter of urgent necessity for the federal government of Nigeria to take steps to evacuate the remaining ten percent of herders currently in the South back home.
“With the onset of the fresh systematic vilification of the herdsmen at an official level, it is important to evacuate them peacefully since apparently their security could not be guaranteed in their host communities in the southern part of the country.
“A study has shown that with all the overhyped hatred for the pastoral communities by the South and their leaders, only ten percent of herders live in the entire South which can conveniently be accommodated in the North.”
CNG also told northern governors to commence preparation to receive the returning Fulani communities and their livestock assets by identifying suitable grazing lands for them and making sufficient allowance for farmers at the same time.
The Group warned that the nation would be treading dangerous grounds if it continued to tolerate the demonization of entire groups over particular types of crimes which the Asaba Declaration by the 17 southern governors seek to do.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to act now to protect laws abiding members of Fulani communities from the falling trap set by the aggressive policy of the southern governors who apparently believe that Fulani has no rights in Nigeria,” he added.