Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Igbo leaders have rejected calls from some notable Northern political leaders that Fulani herdsmen living in the Southern parts should relocate to the North.
They described the calls as divisive and retrogressive.
The governor and the Igbo leaders spoke during a special dinner organised by Ganduje in honour of the Eze Ndigbo Kano and President General, Igbo Traditional Leaders in Diaspora, Igwe Boniface Ibekwe, on his 10th Offalla anniversary.
The event took place Saturday night at Africa House, Government House, Kano.
At the dinner were Kene Nzekwe, the representative of the former Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, Eze P.N. Wahiwe from Niger State, President-General of Igbo in Diaspora Assembly Chief Chi Nwogu, Chief Ebenezer Chima and many other Ezes and chiefs from the 19 northern states.
Ganduje said: “Those who are calling on the Fulani to leave South, we don’t share the same feeling with them. People have a choice, as far as Nigerian constitution is concerned, to live wherever they chose to. But they must respect laws and cultures of those they are living with.”
Ganduje maintained that Nigeria is a heterogeneous society with different religions and nationalities, which calls for mutual respect among different people.
He insisted: “As we are all creatures of Allah, it is duty bound on all of us to always respect Allah’s creatures. No two way about it.”
He added that the issue of Fulani roaming about from one place to another should be stopped.
“We must find a way of turning the table from being social and cultural engagement to become social and economic. Herders should drop the cultural attachment to their rearing activities and make their rearing become economically beneficial,” the governor said.
He called on the Federal Government to put a halt to the ever-increasing movement of herders from one state to another.
Igwe Ibekwe said: “Just look at what is happening now, some people are calling on Fulani to come back to the North. So, if they come back, what will happen to us here in the North? Our people will tell us to go back to South. Is that what our forefathers wished to see us doing? We are, therefore, rejecting such call coming from some quarters. It does not mean well for the corporate existence of our dear country.”
He called on his people to always be law-abiding citizens, assuring them that the Igbo in Kano are safe in the hands of Ganduje.
“Kano is the safest place in Nigeria,” he noted.