By Shola Abayomi.
President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to statements credited to the Northern Elders Forum asking Fulani herdsmen to relocate to their various states in the North since their security cannot be guaranteed in the Southern part of the country.
The President through a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, reiterated that all citizens of Nigeria are free to move and reside in any part of the country, stressing that no one has the right to issue a directive of relocation to anyone or any group.
“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.
“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 statement read.