Northern elite under the auspices of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), on Friday, said plans are underway to hold a crucial meeting with governors from Southern and Northern regions in order to de-escalate rising tension and improve responsible collaboration and synergy in the country.
The forum, while appealing to local ethnic defenders in various communities across the country to cease threats and attacks, charged all law-abiding herders to relocate to the North if they are safe at their present location.
Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Director, Publicity and Advocacy of the forum in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja did not, however, state when the meeting would hold but urged President Buhari and governors to consult and explore measures that will lower tensions and assure all Nigerians that we live in a country where laws have meanings.
“Northern Elders Forum commits to continue to work to retrieve the country from the dangerous cliff where it has been placed by irresponsible people, many of them in positions of responsibility.
“We have plans to meet with governors in the North and South to improve responsible collaboration and synergy, and we intend to visit communities where we have influence to lower tensions and provide assurances and comfort,” the statement read.
The NEF stressed that its intervention became imperative sequel to the continuing narratives and threats, including comments from seemingly responsible Nigerians and even elected officials who swore to protect the rights of all citizens and the survival of the country, but raising fears and passions that could make it easy to break more laws of the land and pitch citizens against each other.
Dr Baba-Ahmed alleged that there were efforts to create multiple sources of falsehood in videos and other inflammatory materials in the media clearly targeted at inciting people to act violently against each other.
According to him, “Allegations of planned or actual genocide are being made with reckless abandon, and even the international community is being lobbied in futile efforts to sell the fiction that some groups are intent on mass extermination of other groups.”
He urged President Buhari and governors that fight against armed criminals must be pursued on all fronts and with a lot more seriousness, saying the criminal must not reap from the suspicions and fears which his activities also generate.