President Muhammadu Buhari has advised all Nigerians to ignore the recent call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to Fulani herders, asking them to leave the southern part of Nigeria.
According to a statement by the President’s spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Wednesday, Buhari said 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 quoted the President as saying.
The presidential aide questioned the intentions of the NEF and the other so-called leaders in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice.
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.’’
Shehu quoted the president as calling on all Nigerians to help keep the peace in the country.