- Wants FCT, Borno Govt to take responsibility of Abuja, Maiduguri blasts victims
Northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday berated the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, over calls on the federal government to abolish nomadic cattle rearing over to stop alleged criminal activities by herdsmen.
In addition, it expressed worries over continued suicide attacks despite successes being recorded by the military against Boko Haram insurgency and appealed to the governments of Borno and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, respectively to bear the medical bills and rehabilitation of the victims of the recent bomb attacks in Maiduguri and Nyanya and Kuje.
ACF said in a statement by it National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim in Kaduna, that it is embarrassed and disappointed by the call on the federal government by the pan-Yoruba group to abolish nomadic cattle rearing following the alleged kidnap of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
“Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, is embarrassed and disappointed with the communiqué issued by the respected pan-Yoruba group the Afenifere after its meeting of September 29, 2015 held in Akure at the residence of its leader, Pa Rueben Fasonranti that called on the Federal government “to abolish nomadic cattle rearing to stop alleged criminal activities by herdsmen”.
This statement was issued after the kidnap of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, elder statesman Chief Olu Falae by some persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
“The communique went further to warn that “if the Federal Government fails to stop Fulani herdsmen from attacking Yoruba people, it may result in a situation where the South-west people will have to defend themselves.”
“ACF considers such statement as reckless and unbecoming of a highly respected group like the Afenifere that choose to criminalise a whole race or tribe or region instead of the individual criminals, moreover, our law books provides the process of dealing with such suspected criminals rather than arrogating such powers to ourselves.
“Nigeria has over 250 tribes and Yoruba is just one of them, for it to threaten other tribes just because of an alleged crime of some suspected herdsmen is unnecessary, emotional and contrary to the spirit and letters of the Nigerian constitution which guarantees free movement and association of citizens in any part of the country.
“In November 2000 when some OPC hoodlums attacked northerners in the South-West region, ACF did not blame it on the Yoruba; rather it urged the government to arrest the perpetrators that committed the crime.
“ACF considers criminality in any form as a serious offense and strongly condemned the kidnapping of Chief Olu Falae a former presidential candidate of the joint ticket of APP/AD in the 1999 general election which the North overwhelmingly supported him.
“ACF has in the last six years consistently decried the insecurity situation in the country especially insurgency, kidnapping, ritual killings, armed robbery etc, but it has never blamed a tribe, people or region as responsible for such crimes, talk less of threatening their free movement or pursuit of their legitimate business and livelihood.
“The unity and peaceful coexistence of our people has always been the guiding principle of ACF in the Nigerian project above personal and emotional interests.
“ACF therefore appeals to Afenifere and all other socio-cultural organisations and individuals to always exercise some restrain and show maturity in reacting to situations in view of the complexity of our country.
“ACF equally calls upon the security agencies to not only intensify their effort in tracking down the kidnappers of Chief Olu Falae but also put in place preventive measures to forestall such frequent ugly incidents in the country.
“ACF is also saddened by the news of the multiple suicide bomb blasts that occurred on Thursday, October 1 in Maiduguri and that of Friday night at Kuje and Nyanya in the FCT all within the week, which killed scores of innocent people and injured many. This recent and frequent bomb attacks on innocent people is worrisome despite the successes being recorded by the military in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency.
“ACF once more urges the security agencies to be more proactive in the discharge of their responsibilities while the community should be more vigilant and also share intelligence with the security agencies to avert these unwarranted bombings.
“ACF extends its condolences to the families of those killed by the bomb blast, the Government and people of Borno state and the FCT and also appeals to the authorities to take care of the injured and provide them with basic rehabilitation needs.