The Northern Governors Forum has challenged States in the South to fish out criminal herdsmen, isolate and make them face the wrath of the law.
NGF expressed worries that the activities of criminal elements were being used to tag a particular ethnic group.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, in a statement on Saturday, said the NGF believes strongly in the rights of Nigerians to reside wherever they so desire without any molestation or discrimination.
It warned that there could be danger to peaceful coexistence and national unity if a particular ethnic group is being molested and discriminated upon.
Lalong said instead of tagging a particular ethnic group as criminal and subjecting them to danger, criminal elements among them should be exposed, isolated and made to face the law.
The Northern Governors Forum called for calm across the country and cautioned citizens, particularly those in the South West and East, which is the mostly affected areas who might have been aggrieved or targeted, to exercise restraint.
The Forum noted that the country is currently going through a lot and escalating such tensions would definitely not resolve any grievances, but rather aggravate the situation to levels that could threaten national security.
“Leaders across political, ethnic, religious and community lines should avoid utterances and actions that further fan the embers of distrust, hate, violence and retaliation which can easily escalate the situation and cause chaos.
“Relevant government officials, traditional rulers and opinion moulders must also send the right signals to those who want to take the laws into their hands and trample on the Nigerian Constitution by attempting to deny others the rights to live and pursue their legitimate business in whatever place they choose to reside.
“They should, also, send clear and unambiguous message to those threatening the peace that they will act decisively to stop them from plunging the nation to anarchy,” the Forum’s statement said.
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