Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has told people to ignore a recent call by an influential group from the north of the country that asked Fulani herders to leave the south.
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) had asked herdsmen to return to the north, where they said, their safety and that of their property could be guaranteed.
A statement released by the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, questioned the intentions of the NEF and others for “delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice”.
The statement said “all citizens of Nigeria are free to move and live within any part of the country they please, whether or not they are originally from there”.
Recent clashes between farmers and herdsmen have killed hundreds and displaced many more, especially in Nigeria’s central region.
Most southern governors rejected a national plan to build settlements for herdsmen in their states, prompting the federal government to withdraw the idea.
Earlier this week, former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote an open letter to President Buhari, warning of a “Rwanda-style genocide” in Nigeria, if the president failed to act on security issues in the country.