Following a series of eviction threats against Fulani herders in the southern part of the country, the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has expressed concern over the tension generated by the eviction orders.
They said the development was heating the already fragile security atmosphere in all parts of the country even as there were threats of retaliation by youths in many states in the North.
The northern governors, however, said they were working assiduously to contain the threat that generated tension in the North but needed the support and commitment of their colleagues in the South.
The forum stated this in a virtual emergency meeting its members held Monday night to discuss issues affecting the region and the nation in general.
It was presided over by its Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
According to the communiqué released on Tuesday, the northern governors said there was an urgent need for all the 36 state governors to meet under the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity. The northern governors called for restraint from leaders, including those from the southern parts of the country where passions were high.
Similarly, they called on all the citizens of northern extraction to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.
The communiqué called on “political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains with a view to treating criminals like criminals. The Forum reiterates that it condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally.”
It noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.
“This is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals, which the northern governors are working assiduously to contain.”