AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Barrister Pereotubo Oweilaemi, has given stern warning to the six South South governors, including Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, that if any of the seven governors accepts the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) being proposed by the federal governor, such governor is inviting bloodshed to the state.
In a statement made available to journalists, Barrister Oweilaemi said should any of the governors be politically cajoled to accept the proposal for whatever political or financial allurement, “we will take a bloody revolution against them and their imperial interest. This is not just a warning. Ijaw people are ready to defend their land even with the last drop of our blood.”
The RUGA settlement has been generating wild reactions among Nigerians from across the country and the consensus has been against the proposal with many expressing fear of Fulani colonization following the actions of the Fulani herdsmen who have murdered a number of Nigerians during the last four years of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
From the reactions across the states, Nigerians have expressed total rejection to the proposal just as the presidential team is bent on pushing the programme to the states with the pilot states being Sokoto, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, Plateau, Kogi, Adamawa, Katsina and others making a total of eleven states.
While the five South East states have made a statement through the Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, that the Eastern states are opposed to the move, with an Eastern community sending the Fulani cattle men and the cows out of their communities, the South South states have not made a statement regarding their decision on the RUGA settlement.
However, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state had in the previous administration, said his government will not cede any part of the state to the cattle colony which was previously proposed by the Buhari’s administration. He said Delta state land is more of riverine, hence no part of the state will be made available for cattle colony. He is, however, yet to make statement with the new RUGA proposal.
Unconfirmed reports say $11billion have been set aside to lobby South South and South East governors and the traditional rulers in the communities mapped out for the project so as to pave way for the invasion of the lands for the project.
But the IYC president is emphatic that the proposed RUGA settlement for Fulani cattle rearers in the various states of the federation will not be accepted in Ijaw land, adding: “We don’t have land to accommodate foreigners.”
He said: “The desert North is big enough for the Fulanis to rear their cattle. We will not accommodate people whose ultimate goal is to carry out religious jihad against their hosts in order to establish their Islamic caliphate. The Fulanis who have been terrorising the indigenous people in the Middle Belt as well as some parts of Southern Nigeria are seen as a Trojan horse to us.
“IYC rejects in its entirety the move by the federal government to establish the said RUGA settlement for the Fulanis. The government should not by act or omission instigate ethno-religious crisis in the country. The genocide being perpetrated against the Middle Beltans by these Fulani warmongers under Buhari’s government has not been addressed by the latter with a determined effort.
At the height of the killings by the Fulani terrorists, the presidency only said the Middle Belt people should relinquish their ancestral lands to the killer herdsmen or be ready to be killed.
“How can we cede a land to such persons who take delight in massacring innocent people under the gleeful eyes of the federal government of Nigeria?
“We will not invite such Trojan horses to our land in order not to betide future generations. We are warning the six governors of the South South states together with the governor of Ondo state not to accept that dangerous proposal.
“Should any of them be politically cajoled to accept the proposal then we will take a bloody revolution against them and their imperial interest. This is not a warning. Ijaw people are ready to defend our land even with the last drop of our blood.”
On the Fulani Vigilance Group, the IYC president said: “Our message is the same. We don’t need any vigilante group by the world number four terrorist organisation. If the government of Nigeria cannot protect us then the Ijaw nation is able to protect our lands and people.
“We are able to protect our territorial integrity to ward off internal and external aggressors including criminal syndicates. If the government is unable to protect us then we will set up our own security outfits to protect our lands.
“President Buhari should immediately call his Fulani people to order before they set the country ablaze. Nigeria is on the precipice which is heading to the cliff. The time bomb is ticking faster than expected. The antics of the Fulani ethnic group may ignite the conflagration which will consume the entire the country. Our patient is running thin.”