From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
FG should halt interstate itinerant herders – Ganduje
The Igbos in Kano have rejected the call on Fulani herdsmen to vacate southern region of Nigeria and return to the north.
The head of the Igbos in Kano, the Eze Ndigbo of Kano, Igwe Boniface Ibekwe made their position known in a statement yesterday.
The Governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje also joined the Eze Ndigbo in disapproving the call that Fulani herdsmen should vacate southern region of Nigeria and return to the north.
Ganduje urged the federal government to put a halt to the ever increasing movement of herders from one state to another, calling on the herders to be up and doing to contribute to the economy of the country.
Recall that the Northern Elders Forum (NE) last week advised the Fulani herdsmen living in southern Nigeria to leave the area and return to the north, a call that had since become a topic of national discourse.
However, Ganduje and Ibekwe joined the list of notable Nigerians who rejected the call.
In a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, Ganduje said people have a choice, as far as Nigerian constitution is concerned, to live wherever they chose to, but they must respect laws and cultures of those they are living with.
According to Ganduje, there was no doubt that Nigeria is a heterogeneous society with different religions and nationalities which calls for mutual respect among different people, insisting that, “As we are all creatures of God, it is duty bound on all of us to always respect His creatures. No two way about it.”
“Those who are calling on the Fulani to leave South, we don’t share the same feeling with them. People have a choice, as far as Nigerian constitution is concerned, to live wherever they chose to. But they must respect laws and cultures of those they are living with.
“The issue of Fulani roaming about from one place to another should be stopped. We must find a way of turning the table from being social and cultural engagement to become social and economic. Herders should drop the cultural attachment to their rearing activities and make their rearing become economically beneficial,” he said He added that, “It is because we want to bring out economic benefits out of the whole exercise that we inaugurated a RUGA Settlement Committee for us to have it in Kano. And to most fundamentally, run away from the insecurity posture posed by the herders- farmers clashes everywhere.”
On his part, the Kano Igbo leader noted that if Fulanis are advised to leave Southern Nigeria, what would happen to the southerners living in the North. This is what people ought to think about.
“Our people will tell us to go back to South. Is that what our forefathers wished to see us doing? We are therefore rejecting such call coming from some quarters. It does not mean well for the corporate existence of our dear country.
“Just look at what is happening now, some people are calling on Fulanis to come back to the North. So if they happen to us here in the North?” he asked rhetorically.
Our reporter reports that the rejection by Ganduje and Ibekwe were pronounced during a special dinner organised by the governor in honour of the Igbo leader to rejoice with him on his 10th Offalla anniversary, which took place at Africa House, Government House, Kano on Saturday night.