The apex northern socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has condemned in strong terms, Monday’s attack on Ukpabi Nimbo Community in Enugu State, describing it as most unfortunate and barbaric.
The attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen, left over 50 persons dead and scores driven out of their homes.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, while condemning the attack, gave marching orders to the Inspector General of Police and Chief of Defence Staff to fish out the marauding herdsmen perpetrating deadly attacks on communities different communities across the country.
Reacting to the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo Community, the ACF in a statement issued Thursday in Kaduna by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, commiserated with the government and people of Enugu state “over this unfortunate ugly incident”.
The statement called on security agencies to apprehend the masterminds of the heinous attacks so as to end what it termed the “dangerous generalization” of Fulani herdsmen as perpetrators of the attacks.
It further stated that “Nigeria cannot afford to graduate from Boko Haram insurgency to an unwarranted attack by unknown gunmen alleged to be Fulani herdsmen.
“The traditional Fulani nomads have coexisted peacefully with their host communities and have been grazing their cattle for decades all over Nigeria without any such attacks.
“ACF is therefore disturbed and seriously concerned with this recent development.
“It, therefore, calls upon the security agencies to do a thorough investigation into the identities of the suspected gunmen in order to stop this dangerous generalization of labeling a certain tribe or people of certain faith as responsible for these attacks”.
This, the ACF warned, could lead to mistrust and likely whip up sentiments among peoples of different tribes and faith, who it noted, “have lived together peacefully for decades”.
The northern group stressed that “criminals hiding under whatever guise and committing heinous crimes against innocent people and the state should be treated as such and in accordance with the law”.
The ACF also commended President Buhari’s directive to security chiefs, to secure affected communities, arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice.