The Southern leaders Thursday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare Fulani herdsmen a terrorists group saying the group has become a menace to the country.
The call came which came at the “Handshake Across the Niger” summit, also demanded for the immediate restructuring of the Nation’s political structure.
The programme which was co-organized by, Nzuko Umunna (Ohanaeze Ndigbo) and Afenifere attracted array of leaders from the South-West, South South, Middle Belt and the host region, South-East.
The South-West delegates included Chief Olu Falae, Ayo Adebanjo, former governor Olusegun Mimiko, former aviation minister, Femi-Fani Kayode, among others. The Middle Belt Delegation was led by ex-Plateau Governor, Jonah Jang.
While the South-East included the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Deputy Governor of Imo State, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representatives of both the Enugu and Anambra Governors, among several others.
Speakers took turn to warn that if the country was not restructured immediately, it would be heading for disaster.
However, not long that Nwodo began his speech scores of pro-Biafra apologists, who had besieged the summit in their numbers, disrupted him with shouting, “No to Restructuring, No to Restructuring, we want Biafra not restructuring”.
The women among the pro-Biafra agitators to the shock of guests pulled off their top wears, leaving only brazier, as a way of driving home their point.
It took several minutes for the organizers to calm them down, with an assurance that they would be allowed to present their case formally to the summit.
The Ohanaeze President said the essence of the ‘Handshake Across the Nigeria’, was to correct age-long misconception and suspicion among the Igbos and the Yorubas.
He said there had existed mutual trust and brotherhood among the two regions, which he said was demonstrated by Late Colonel Fajuyi, who laid down his life for the late military head of State, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi.
In a remark, Chief Ayo Adebanjo described President Muhammadu Buhari as the problem of Nigeria, over his stance on calls for restructuring.
“Buhari cannot claim to be more Northerner than the Sadauna. Buhari is the problem of Nigeria by opposing restructuring. He is doing this because his people are the beneficiaries of the lopsidedness of Nigeria”, he said.
On herdsmen, Adebanjo said he had no trust in the ability of the police to quell the activities of the group as the police hierarchy had already described the killings as communal clashes.
He further berated President Buhari over his handling of the killings, stressing that “even when someone in the calibre of Falae was kidnapped, he didn’t utter a word. He has also refused to identify Fulani herdsmen as terrorists.
In his remarks, Jang described the meeting as most timely and appropriate, calling on the organizers “to extend the handshake across the River Benue and all the minorities.”
He added that “the question of restructuring is not debatable and not in the hand of any individual not minding his position.”
Moses Oyediran, Enugu