The apex northern socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday berated its Yoruba counterpart, Afenifere, over its statement on the recent kidnap of former Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, by Fulani herdsmen.
The ACF described the statement as not only reckless but unbecoming of a group like Afenifere.
The pan-northern group said that the Afenifere statement demanding the abolishment of nomadic cattle rearing, and criminalizing the Fulani on account of the action of a few, was misplaced.
“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”, ACF said in the statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mohammad Ibrahim.
The ACF said it “is embarrassed and disappointed with the communique issued by the respected pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, after its meeting of 29th September, 2015 held in Akure at the residence of its leader, Pa Rueben Fasoranti
“In November 2000 when some OPC hoodlums attacked Northerners in the Southwest 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 offence 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 have always been the guiding principles of ACF in the Nigerian project above personal and emotional interests.
“ACF therefore appeals to Afenifere and all other socio-cultural organizations and individuals to always exercise some restraint 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”.
The Forum also expressed sadness over the multiple bomb explosions which rocked Maiduguri, Borno state, Nyanya and Kuje surburds of the FCT, Abuja last week, killing scores of innocent Nigerians.