ACF cautions Afenifere over call to abolish mobile cattle rearing
Foremost Northern socio-cultural group, Arewa consultative Forum (ACF) said it was embarrassed and disappointed with the communique issued by the respected pan-Yoruba group the Afenifere after its meeting of 29th September, 2015 held in Akure at the residence of its leader, Pa Rueben Fasonranti that called on the Federal government to abolish nomadic cattle rearing to stop alleged criminal activities by herdsmen.
This was contained in a statement released by ACF in Kaduna on Saturday.
The statement read in part: “the statement was issued after the kidnap of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, elder statesman Chief Olu Falae by some persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
“ACF considers such statement as reckless and unbecoming of a respected group like the Afenifere that choose to criminalize a whole race or tribe or region instead of the individual criminals, moreover, our law books provides the process of dealing with such suspected criminals rather than arrogating such powers to ourselves.
“Nigeria has over 250 tribes and Yoruba is just one of them, for it to threaten other tribes just because of an alleged crime of some suspected herdsmen is unnecessary, emotional and contrary to the spirit and letters of the Nigerian constitution which guarantees free movement and association of citizens in any part of the country.
“In November 2000 when some OPC hoodlums attacked northerners in the south west region, ACF did not blame it on the Yoruba, rather it urged the government to arrest the perpetrators that committed the crime.
“ACF considers criminality in any form as a serious offense and strongly condemned the kidnapping of Chief Olu Falae a former presidential candidate of the joint ticket of APP/AD in the 1999 general election which the North overwhelmingly supported him.
“ACF has in the last six years consistently decried the insecurity situation in the country especially insurgency, kidnapping, ritual killings, armed robbery etc, but it has never blamed a tribe, people or region as responsible for such crimes, talk less of threatening their free movement or pursuit of their legitimate business and livelihood.
“The unity and peaceful coexistence of our people has always been the guiding principle of ACF in the Nigerian project above personal and emotional interests.
“ACF therefore appeals to Afenifere and all other socio-cultural organizations and individuals to always exercise some restrain and show maturity in reacting to situations in view of the complexity of our country.
“ACF equally calls upon the security agencies to not only intensify their effort in tracking down the kidnappers of Chief Olu Falae but also put in place preventive measures to forestall such frequent ugly incidents in the country,” added the statement.