Reacting, the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, also declared that President Muhammadu Buhari should make a bold statement in order to restrain Fulani herdsmen, who engage in criminality leading to conflicts with farmers and communities across the country. Speaking to Saturday Telegraph in Enugu, the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said Fulanis and Hausa have been living with the people of the South for years without any problem, but said they only became ‘lionised’ in recent years leading to the conflicts. Ogbonnia refused to react to comments credited to Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, to the effect that the Federal Government should stop herders from moving to the Southern part of the country for gracing, saying it was a personal opinion of the governor.
He said: “Coming to comment by governor of Kano State, we at Ohanaeze, it is not often good for us to start responding to a person’s opinion. A governor saying something, its okay he said it, but it’s his personal opinion. But assuming its coming from Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) or such other group then it will require Ohanaeze’s response.
“As to what the Federal Government should do to end the growing conflict between Fulani herders and farmers across the country; this question has been asked severally and answers provided severally. “But government knows what to do and all these things will stop but the important thing is that 10, 15 years ago the Northerners have stayed in the South and there was no problem. They only became lionised in the recent time and of course the cause is known to everybody.
“Assuming that the president of the country makes statement on that I think it will help to tame them because if this thing continued the way it is, it will set Nigeria into a conflagration that will be very difficult to control.
“What I’m saying is that in the past, even in our villages, the Fulani and the Hausa have lived in what we call ‘Ama Hausa’ or ‘Ama Fulani’, that’s Hausa/Fulani communities, there has never been any problem, we had coexisted with the, but they became lionized a few years ago and I’m saying that the president knows what to do so that all these things will stop. “And I’m saying that if it continues like this it will lead Nigeria into a conflagration that will be difficult for him to manage.”
On the issue of restructuring, it would be recalled that the new President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, only recently reiterated the demand of Ndigbo for the restructuring of Nigeria. In his maiden press conference in Enugu on January 20, 2021, Obiozor said the irreducible minimum demand of Ndigbo in Nigeria was restructuring of the country. He said: “Generally, to me, the demand is for justice, equity and fairness. That is what we wish to achieve by restructuring the Nigeria political system, by bringing governance to a level playing field to all its citizens.