Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has said that it considers the statement by Northern Elders Forum as most presumptuous and that it speaks to their general disposition of arrogance and erroneous grandiosity.
According to PANDEF in a press statement released by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson in Port Harcourt, “Where was the Northern Elders Forum when arm-wielding men were killing, harassing innocent citizens, and raping women in their farms?”
The statement said, Northern Elders didn’t realize then that they were setting the country on a dangerous path. Below is the remaining part of the press statement:
Meyitti Allah cattle rearers have been arrogantly conducting themselves like “landlords” of Nigeria, without any denunciation.
It is now that southern governors have begun taking appropriate steps to safeguard lives and livelihoods of their people, that Northern elders have found their voice in defence of the herders.
For goodness’ sake, cattle rearing is a private business; let those involved establish ranches, instead of taking over lands and terrorizing communities.
It’s a pity that in a heterogeneous country like Nigeria, one ethnic group would make itself a content of crisis.
The killings, kidnappings, and other criminal activities being perpetrated by herdsmen will not be allowed to continue.
PANDEF urges state governors, particularly of southern regions, and the people, not to be perturbed by the tirades of this self-conceited people.
While PANDEF would denounce any attacks on innocent citizens, by any group, in any part of the country, it is important to emphasize that the prohibition of open grazing and movement of cattle, as well as the ejection orders to groups who have been illegally and forcefully occupying forests, are pertinent and indisputable.
PANDEF implores Northern Elders and their surrogates to get off the “high-horse”. And the sooner, the better, for the country, and all of us. Nigeria belongs to all of us, no section owns the country more than the other; we are equal stakeholders.