19 Northern Governors, including Benue and Taraba States whose states been ravished by Fulani herdsmen, have issued a strongly worded statement warning Nigerians to desist from tagging Fulani Herdsmen as terrorists.
The Governors rose from a meeting in Kaduna yesterday and issued the joint statement. The current Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, stated that labelling Fulanis as criminals is affront to the region.
According to Alhaji Kashim Shettima: “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 ‘ethinicization’ of the whole crisis. 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.
Alhaji Shettima also He also denounced the Agatu killings and berated media houses for over sensationalizing the events. He stated that Governors from the region are also fighting Boko Haram. 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 said.
“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.
“In our determined efforts to address these challenges we have established a 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.”