The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has told the Fulani community in the Southern part of the country to return to the North if they are forcefully ejected from the communities they reside in.
The Elders also called on the northern governors to be ready to receive the Fulani community who would return as a result of forceful ejection from where they reside in the South.
This is contained in a statement issued by Director, Publicity and Advocacy of NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.
NEF expressed concern over the reports of ejections threats and attacks on Fulani herders, families and communities in some states of the South.
The Forum said it has advised Fulani communities to seek protection where it is available and to resist the temptation to take the law into their own hands.
“It is necessary to warn people who threaten law-abiding Fulani communities in all parts of Nigeria, but particularly in some parts of the South, to desist.
“The vast majority of Fulani are law-abiding and have rights to live lawfully wherever they can find means of subsistence. Like all Nigerians who can be found in every inch of Nigeria, the rights of the Fulani will not be abridged by criminals hiding behind ethnic interests to exterminate them.
“Citizens and groups who play the role of police and other law-enforcement agencies are committing crimes, and they must be stopped by leaders who are sworn to protect the law and security of all Nigerians”, the statement said.
NEF, therefore, said “If communities in parts of the country insist that the lawful Fulani is unwelcome and has no right to their security, then the Forum will advise them to relocate to the North. Northern Governors should move urgently to prepare to receive Fulani communities being forcefully ejected.
The Forum, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors to take immediate and decisive steps to protect law-abiding members of Fulani communities from those believe that Fulani has no rights in Nigeria.
“The Forum demands that the Nigeria Police must live up to its constitutional responsibility to detect crimes and arrest and prosecute criminals, whoever they are.
“States which seek to limit criminal activities are perfectly entitled to do so, but they must follow due process, and avoid exposing innocent citizens to danger at all cost,” the statement noted.
“The Forum appeals again for all Nigerians to exercise restraint and not to play into the hands of people who desire to achieve dubious political goals by pitching citizens against each other. Persons who inflame passions by circulating videos and other materials should also desist,” the statement added.