The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has warned that the continued killings of northerners in many parts of the South will no longer be tolerated.
The Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the Forum, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed in a statement issued Friday called on governments, communities and law enforcement agencies to protect northerners living in the South.
The Forum drew attention to the dangers of the escalating incidents and provocations.
It expressed deep concern over what it described as the rising cases of profiling, targeting and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South.
It said: “Northern Elders Forum is deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South.”
The forum noted that the recent murder of Nigerians in Imo State apparently on suspicion that they were northerners was one incident among many recent ones that involve harassment, illegal arrests, attacks and killings of Nigerians from the North.
It said it would appear that groups that target northerners draw inspiration from the silence of leaders and the absence of an appropriate response from security and other law enforcement agencies.
While it appealed to all communities to live in peace with each other, the forum also demanded that killers who target northerners are fished out and punished.
It added: “The impression that northerners are fair game for groups and organizations in the South is forcing northerners to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear. This is intolerable and unacceptable.”
It also demanded clear and emphatic condemnation from leaders, elders and communities who understand that the welfare and security of all citizens are vulnerable to the degree that other citizens are unsafe in certain parts of the country.