Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, his Kaduna and Bauchi States’ counterparts, Mallam Nasir El Rufai and Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun, met Tuesday, with leaders of Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, led by its President-General, Chief Gary Igariway in Owerri over the recent killing of an Igbo woman in Kano State.
They also discussed the issue of herdsmen and the unity of the country.
In his contribution, Governor Nasir El Rufai said that the Northern governors totally condemn the murder of the Igbo woman in Kano, stressing that the matter should be treated as a case of murder, while those responsible must be brought to face the wrath of the law.
Continuing, El Rufai said: “We will not accept a situation where people, either Christians or Muslims, hide under the umbrella of religion to commit crime. If someone had insulted God, the person should be left for God to take care of. I have advised the Kano governor to publicly deal with the people involved to serve as a deterrent to others.”
He lauded Ohanaeze Ndigbo for choosing the path of peace and unity, pointing out that people were now using religion as a tool to divide and even defraud people.
“That necessitated the introduction of religion bill in Kaduna so that people can be stopped from using divisive languages in the name of religion”, El Rufai said.
Addressing the issue of herdsmen, the Governor said “it is a problem that is affecting the whole nation”, adding that “it is not a case of Fulani invading other tribes but a criminal activity that must be nipped in the bud”.
Speaking also, the Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar said the killing of the woman in Kano was an evil act, pointing out that he had liaised with the Kano governor and he assured that arrests had been made and those responsible will face the full weight of the law.
On the herdsmen problem, he said, “the problem has been in the North over the years and its occurrence in the South should not be seen as an act of invasion, but a criminal act that must be treated as such”.
He adding that the traditional Nigeria Fulani herdsmen “are not known to be criminally minded, but because of the country’s porous borders, herdsmen from other African nations, especially after the fall of Libya, entered Nigeria.”
The APC National Chairman, Chief Oyegun in his contribution said there were proofs that most of those crimes were being committed by foreigners and gave an instance of a Catholic priest in Benin, who was kidnapped and out of the number of those involved in his abduction, only one was a Nigerian.
“The nation has to rise to face these challenges squarely. I commend the leadership of Ohanaeze for their maturity in handling some of these sensitive issues,” Oyegun said.