Association of traditional leaders/Obas of the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has rejected the quit order given to Fulani herders by the Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to vacate forest reserves in the state.
Rather, the association has advised the governor to fish out the criminals involved in kidnapping and allied crimes in the state and treat them squarely, based on their criminal activities, instead of criminalising the whole Fulani herders, many of who, the group stated, have been living peacefully for decades all over the state and Nigeria generally.
In a statement signed by the secretary-general of the association, His Highness Oba (Dr) Alani Kolawole Adeyemi, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja, the monarchs said the menace of kidnapping and allied crimes, which have become a nightmare to Nigerians, require a broad based approach.
Oba Adeyemi, who is also the Sarkin Yoruba of Guyaku district in Adamawa State, stated that the Ondo State governor, who is a seasoned administrator, a nationalist and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), needs not to be tutored on the security implications of the quit orders, adding that the Fulani herders are also an integral part of his subjects, whose welfare and well-being are part of his responsibilities.
The statement advised that concerted efforts should be made so that both the security apparatus of the state, the leader of Fulani herders in the state and national level, as well as all well-meaning Nigerians work towards bringing amicable resolution to the crisis.
While stating that the Fulani herders have the inalienable constitutional rights to live and work peacefully in any part of the country, the association also appealed to revered paramount traditional rulers across the country to immediately wade into the matter.