The Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo have carpeted the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, for accusing Southern and Middle Belt leaders of stereotyping the Fulani as criminals.
The ACF had at a press conference addressed by its spokesman, Ibrahim Biu in Kaduna on Wednesday, accused Southern leaders and those of the Middle Belt of blaming Fulani for every crime committed in the country and making the entire ethnic group appear like criminals.
Afenifere, through its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, has denied the allegation, saying it is not stereotyping Fulanis as alleged by the ACF.
Describing the ACF allegation as rubbish, Odumakin, insisted that state officials had also identified the perpetrators of the killings and most of the kidnappings across the country as Fulani.
Odumakin said: ”The ACF and the Fulani should ensure the arrest of all those involved in kidnappings and killings across the country; and when they are sure they are not Fulani, then they can say they are not Fulani.
“Even many of the officials have admitted that those killing people are Fulani; Governor Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna State) said he paid off Fulani who killed people in his state. When there was insurgency in the Niger Delta, did we not refer to them as Niger Delta militants? Until the Nigerian Presidency under a Fulani man arrests them and identify them as non-Fulani, they can’t tell us that hogwash.”
In its own reaction, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo described killings and kidnappings across the country by the Fulani Herdsmen as a national crisis.
According to the group’s spokesman, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, the deliberate ploy to colour the wide spread condemnation to appear as a figment of anti-fulani vituperations must be discarded.
Achi-Okpaga said: “Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt Forum and allies are not the harbingers of the news. Communities, villages and families of the victims cry every day with undeniable proofs.
“The conventional and new media are awash with video evidence of the Fulani herdsmen caught red-handed in their kidnapping and other criminal activities.
“We expect that at this time, the ACF should advise the Presidency to employ the same swiftness with which they marshalled the Army that rolled her tanks against harmless IPOB members on the supposed bandits and miscreants.
“You can tell a blind man that there is no oil in the soup but not salt.
“We have been told that the herdsmen killing Nigerians are foreigners. They have not been declared terrorists. Instead, the government wants to take the people’s land, in the guise of Ruga, and give to the same people that they described as foreigners.
“Note that another Holocaust is brewing. The Shi’ites are constituting a severe security threat at the Federal Capital Territory and unless the issue is properly handled, there will be trouble.
“Their argument is that the government has defied a subsisting court order and holding their leader to captivity, adding that they are ready to sacrifice many of their members in the course of fighting for the freedom of their leader.”