AREWA elders under the aegis of Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF), have frowned at the various clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen, particularly in Benue and Nasarawa states, urging the Federal Government to quickly intervene because it was capable of disintegrating the country.
The Northern Christian group also noted the negative activities of the two warring groups in some other parts of the country, saying that there was urgent need for government intervention.
In a statement issued yesterday, Chairman of the Forum, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye pointed out that hitherto, the herdsmen used to be peace-loving people, but all of a sudden, they changed towards their neighbours.
Said Owojaiye: “Generally, Fulani herdsmen were gentle and friendly. If there were any clashes, they were mild and easily settled. It is now very strange that Fulani herdsmen are said to be carrying guns and killing people all over the country. This is very strange. With the insecurity in the North and the consequent slowdown of economic activity and investments, we must not allow the blood shedding to expand all over Nigeria. That is the quickest way for Nigeria to disintegrate.
“Fulani herdsmen were not known for carrying guns. Who has radicalized them? The Federal Government must wake up and find out if Boko Haram or other terrorist organisations have invaded them. We therefore call upon the Federal Government to take urgent action to stop the clashes and bloodshed. We condemn in its totality the spread of bloodshed, the lack of respect and value for human life. The courts are there to settle grievances between parties. For people to decide to take the law into their own hands is unacceptable in any civilized society. Is this a proof that the courts have failed or the people have no regard for the Federal Government?”
Owojaiye continued: “The Federal Government must take urgent and serious action to show that it is still in control of the country called Nigeria. President Jonathan must affirm his authority. He must not allow anybody to hijack it from him. Hijacking authority and control from him as our president is hijacking control from all of us. We the people of Nigeria, we vehemently resist that. Nobody, no groups of people, should be above the law.
“We fear too many guns seem to have entered this country illegally. Are some people preparing for war? Will war profit anybody? As we have said before, you may know how a war will start; you cannot know how it will end. We already have enough tension in this country. Let nobody look for another source of trouble.
“At independence, we wanted a nation where nobody is oppressed. We promised to stand in brotherhood, though tongues and tribes may differ.”
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