The 19 Northern Governors have taken a strong exception to the branding of perpetrators of crimes around the country as Fulani.
The Governors, rising from a meeting in Kaduna yesterday, said inasmuch as they condemned the recent attacks by suspected herdsmen in Enugu and other parts of the country, it was out of place by anyone to label all criminals as Fulani
Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said it was an insult to consider criminals as Fulani.
He said: “We want to unequivocally condemn the recent killings in Enugu and other parts of the country. But we equally condemn the politicization or permit me, the ‘ethinicisation’ of the whole crisis,” the governor said.
“It goes beyond Fulani. If anything happens, they say Fulani herdsmen. To me, it is an insult.
“Kidnapping in this country originated in the Southeast, were they called Igbo kidnappers? .
We have a great national challenge and we want to call on all and sundry to come and let us solve our common challenges as a people, because the blood of paternity that binds us together supersedes whatever differences that might divide us.”
He also condemned the Agatu killings and charged the media to avoid sensationalism and harp on issues that bind the Nigerians together.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the NSGF Chairman said that Boko Haram insurgents who have been terrorising the Northeast in the last five years have been degraded.
He was however quick to note that, there are still pockets of bombings in the North-east which has been ravaged by the insurgency for more than five years.
The Governor also said that following their recent visit to the Islamic Development Bank, the bank has resolved to rebuild Northern Nigeria.
With this development, the Governor is calling for the rebuild of destroyed communities as well as total rehabilitation of affected persons who are currently seeking refuge at different camps across the country.
According to him, “in respect of the insurgency in the Northeast, I can confidently confirm that the insurgency has been irredeemably halted and the insurgents themselves completely subdued.
“What remains now are a few isolated pockets of suicide bombings which the recalcitrant remnants of the insurgents use as a last resort to attract attention and create unnecessary panic among the general population,” he stressed.
He then thanked President Buhari, gallant Military and other security agencies for fulfilling promise to bring the insurgency to a complete halt.
“This undoubtedly entails the reconstruction and rehabilitation of public institutions and structures such as Local Government Secretariats, Police Stations, Prisons, Hospitals and Clinics as well as schools, all of which were either partially or completely destroyed by the insurgents.” He said.
On the Islamic Development Bank’s plan, Governor Shetima said, “in our determined efforts to address these challenges in collaborative partnership with the Islamic Development Bank. You may recall that consequent upon a deliberate resolution of the Forum, I had the privilege to lead a top level delegation to the Headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jedda Saudi Arabia, for special consultations with the management of the Bank on possible ways of attracting their assistance in addressing some of the core challenges we, as a region, are facing.”