Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mohammed Matawalle has threatened that the North may be forced to retaliate attacks on its people by Southerners.
Governor Matawalle warned that it was no longer a time to keep quiet and watch things go from bad to worse, urging Southern leaders to stop the attacks to avoid reprisal.
The Governor issued the warning in a statement he personally signed on Thursday, lamenting that the lives, dignity, and possessions of Northerners living in the South were being threatened.
According to him, it became imperative for a Northern leader such as himself to speak up following recent happenings in the country.
Governor Matawalle pointed out that it was no longer a time to play politics or to play to the gallery, but a time to say things the way they are for the benefit of Nigerians.
He said that the type of politics being played in Nigeria is politics without conscience, adding that Northerners are facing unsearchable conditions in many parts of the South-West and South-East in particular.
He wondered why Northern leaders and elites have remained silent while they are supposed to stand firm, in the manner in which other leaders of the South are doing “even when they know that their people are at fault. This must not continue.”
He added: “As northern leaders, our dignified silence in the face of constant provocation and assault, because of our desire for peace, must not be taken as a sign of weakness.
“Indeed no community, or region has the monopoly of violence.
“If Northerners and their means of livelihood will not be protected, accommodated and be dignified anywhere they choose to stay in any part of the South, Southerners should not expect protection from the North as the North has more than what it takes to respond to any kind of aggression and hatred.“
Speaking on the recent clash between some Yoruba and Hausa traders, in Sasha, Oyo State, the Governor said that up till now there has been no justice for Northerners.
“We have seen the destruction, the killings and the devastation recently at Sasha Market against Northerners and their economic interests.
“Properties worth billions of Naira were lost in addition to human lives, yet some leaders in the South-West are downplaying the atrocities committed or, worst still, justifying it.
“Some of them have shamefully gone to the extent of apportioning blames on the victims and casualties of their aggression,” he said.
The Governor further condemned the alleged killing of Northerners in Imo State on Saturday, calling on all leaders with conscience and fear of God to speak out “against this continued barbarism and hatred.”
“We will not take that any longer as no human life is worthier than another,” he said.
Governor Matawalle warned in should crisis escalates in the country, the South has more to lose in terms of its business interests in the North than Northerners living in the South.
Following the activities of herdsmen in the Southern Region, where they are being accused of killing, raping, maiming, and destroying farmlands, some groups have risen and vowed to chase them (majorly the Fulani) out of the region.