From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Group under the auspices of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, (AYCF), has said law abiding Nigerians, including Fulani have the right to live in any part of the country to practice their legitimate businesses.
The National President Alhaji Ahmed Shettima Yetrima made the assertion while speaking with our correspondent in Kaduna yesterday.
Yerima who was reacting to a recent order by the Ondo State Governor ,Rotimi Akeredolu, that herdsmen in the forests in Ondo state are gven seven days to vacate the state’s Forest Reserves , said as the Chief Law and Security Officer of the State, Akeredolu can only give such an order to herders who are found wanting.
“ It is his constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the State, but he must not throw away the baby with the bath water.” He said
Shettima added that his association rejected t any move to label all herders criminals, saying the Governor should separate criminals and treat them as such but asking everyone to vacate the forest is an unfair treatment,
“ If there are criminal elements among the Fulani who live in the State, the governor should take appropriate steps to identify them and deal with them. Similarly, the Fulani do not enjoy legal immunity in any part of Nigeria.”
“ We noted that the Fulani were subject to all laws and regulations and must respect the communities with which they live and interact, adding that what is dangerous and unacceptable is to profile and demonize the Fulani and treat him outside the laws of the land like all other Nigerians.” He said
It will be recalled that Rotimi Akeredolu, on Monday ordered herdsmen to vacate the state’s Forest Reserves within seven days.
Akeredolu gave the order in a series of tweets, prohibiting the movement of cattle’s within the city and highways.
His words: “These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.