President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday told Fulani herders to ignore the recent instruction from the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) asking them to leave the southern part of Nigeria and return to the North.
The Northern Elders had asked Fulani herdsmen to leave the southern part of Nigeria and returned to their ancestral home in the north if their lives and properties cannot be protected by the government.
However, the presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu questioned the intentions of the NEF and the other so-called leaders in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice. He said no person has any right to order anyone or group out of any part of the country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Shehu said all Nigerians reserved the right to live in any part of the country adding that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will protect them wherever they are.
“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,” Shehu said.
“They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements.
“The polarising role of the Northern Elders Forum 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.”
The President, therefore, called on all Nigerians to help keep the peace in the country.