The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) on Tuesday said it will not accept the vilification of Fulani herders for what it described as “systematic annihilation,” adding that no ethnic group should be singled out for the crime of a few.
The CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in an interview with Daily Trust, however, said it was already helping Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State count the seven days ultimatum given to Fulani herders to vacate the Ondo forest and stressed that the governor’s action at the expiration of the deadline will determine CNG’s next line of action.
“We will not accept where an entire ethnic group will be vilified or singled out for systematic annihilation.
“If all ethnic communities will be vilified for the offence of a few, then no ethnic community will live in another person’s community,” Suleiman said.
The CNG spokesperson explained that for a serving governor to make such an ultimatum, which goes contrary to the country’s constitutional provisions make the issue a serious one adding that the Fulani community no longer feel wanted or safe in Ondo State.
On the CNG giving a similar ultimatum to the Igbos in 2017, Suleiman said: “When we gave our own ultimatum, the government and other stakeholders intervened and we did that to deflate the criminal activities of IPOB, at that time, because all the northern leaders and southern leaders were silent while IPOB was threatening to wage war on Nigeria.”
The group called on the federal government to take a stand on the matter adding that “there was a time the CNG and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), under the leadership of Professor Ango Abdullahi advised the Fulani to return home if they feel they are no longer safe in the south and the presidency came out boldly and said everyone has a right to stay in any part of the country. We are waiting for their response.”