The Fulani community in Delta on Monday dissociated itself from the 72-hour ultimatum to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa by “Fulani Jihadists” over proposed ban on open grazing by governors of southern states.
In a news briefing in Asaba, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Okowa on Special Duties, Alhaji Muktar Usman, flanked by the leadership of the Fulanis, announced that they were not party to the threat.
They stated that they received the news of the planned attack in the state with shock, and that the development threw the Fulani community into fear of possible attack on them from their host communities.
“Yesterday was a very sad story for the leadership of Fulani in Delta. We woke up to see the viral report in the media that suspected Fulani Jihadists threatened to attack Delta State.
“We are very disappointed in that threat and we are calling on the Governor of Delta, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and security agencies in the state to know that we are not part and parcel of that threat.
“We are Nigerians and we have good understanding with our host communities having lived here for over 40 years.
“We are calling on government to fish out those people that are behind the alleged threat because we are not part of it and we can never be part of it.
“We are in very good understanding with our host communities and we must thank the Governor because we are accepted more here in Delta than even in our respective states.
“So I want to call on all our peace loving people to remain calm and avoid unnecessary tension because since yesterday (Sunday), our people have been panicking.
Reacting, through a press release, to a recent publication making rounds purportedly published by the Fulani’s of Usman Dan Fodio leadership tagged “FULANI JIHADIST WARNINGS” and pasted in various locations round Asaba and Agbor, the command under the watch of CP Ari Muhammed Ali urged members of the public to ignore the said publication which must have been pasted by miscreants with the aim of creating panic in the state, adding that modalities have been put in place to forestall any of such occurrence.
The Police Command, therefore advised all residents are to go about their lawful businesses without fear or panic, adding that undercover police operatives have been deployed across the state for the purpose of gathering intelligence while other proactive measures have been put in place by the command.
The Command also urged members of the public to continue to partner with the police, by providing useful information that will help in policing the state.
“We are telling the world today that we condemn this act in all ramifications; we are not part of it and we don’t intend to fight anybody, we are peace-loving people,” they said.
Particularly, leader of Fulanis in Delta, Alhaji Musa Mohammed, said that his people had settled in Delta for many decades and urged the state government discountenance the threat, but should take measures to strengthen security across the state.
“We have lived here for many years and we don’t have problems with the people of the state,” he said.
Prominent members of Fulani community at the briefing included the Sarki Fulani in the state, Alhaji Muhammed Musa; Chairman of Miyetti Allah in the state; Alhaji Abubakar Haruna and Alhaji Useni Haruna, Sarki
President Muhammadu Buhari