A herder watches his cows graze outside of the village of Koboga, Nigeria, Sept. 4, 2018. Conflicts between farmers and herdsmen vying for land, which mirror the 20th Century range wars in the American West, are turning more violent. (Adriane Ohanesian/The New York Times)
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Herders free to live anywhere in Nigeria – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said herders have the constitutional right to live, work and raise their families in any part of the country without restrictions.

Buhari enjoined all Nigerians to ignore the recent call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to Fulani herders, asking them to leave the southern part of Nigeria.

“In line with our country’s constitution, the government of Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will protect citizens of Nigeria wherever they find themselves, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said.

“No one has the right to ask anyone or group to depart from any part of the country, whether north, south, east or west,” the President 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.

“They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements.

“The polarising role of the Northern Elders Forum and all those other groups dabbling into issues of security to score cheap political points has for long been a sore point in Nigeria’s body polity.

“They should not be allowed to mislead anyone, least of all the Fulani herders.

“The Buhari administration is fully devoted to finding a lasting solution to the herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria- one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.”

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