The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has vehemently opposed the proposed arrangement of establishing a Fulani colony in the state.
PDP’s statement comes after Vice President Kashim Shetima, last week said that the President Tinubu administration had approved the construction of 1,000 houses in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, and Benue states with all the ancillary facilities of schools, clinics, veterinary clinics, and ranches for the Fulani community.
This alarming arrangement did not go down well with PDP in Benue as they have called for the immediate suspension of the project. The party said that Benue State is not available as a colony for Fulani’s, stressing that what Benue natives elected the Governor for, is to fulfil his promise of building a robust economy and securing the lives and properties of people of the state.
They went further to say that it is most unreasonable and senseless to establish Fulani colony in a state where the same Fulani herdsmen have wrecked havoc, by killing and destroying the means of livelihood of the people of the state, many of whom are still in IDPs due to the genocide committed against them same herdsmen. They stressed that it is abysmal to think of establishing a Fulani colony even when Benue state does not have large indigenous Fulani population.
The party further said that it will resist with all means lawfully available to its people any attempt to settle Fulani herdsmen on lands they displaced the people from through killings and plunder. The PDP said that Benue was included in the list of states for the colony even though it does not have a large indigenous Fulani population with substantial land holdings on which such a colony could be sited.
The statement reads:
“In other words, in those other states, it could be natural to have such colonies where a Fulani population is already situated and which would seamlessly be accommodated therein. “Benue has no such indigenous Fulani population with land holdings where such a colony could be established.
Secondly, it is unjust and ultimately insensitive to have a colony established for the Fulani with all the facilities for modern living in a state where victims of the genocidal atrocities committed by those same Fulani are still displaced from their lands and means of livelihood and living in sub-human conditions in camps that bear semblance to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.”
They advised the governor Fr. Hycinth Alia to as matter of importance, remove the state from such thoughtless list as the people of the state which includes traditional rulers, religious organization, professional bodies and all stakeholders kicked against the plan when it was first suggested during the administration of muhamed Buhari.
“Benue had vehemently rejected Ruga, the Water Resources Bill, the Cattle Colony, Grazing Routes, and every other form of Fulani colonisation efforts as they were made in the past, and the situation has not changed.
“Benue will resist with all means lawfully available to its people, attempts by Governor Alia and his allies in Abuja to settle Fulani herdsmen on lands they displaced the people from through genocide and plunder
“It is the understanding of the party that, as reflected in the principle driving the Prohibition of Open Grazing and Ranches Establishment Law, Fulani are permitted to live and do lawful business in the state; it is, however, such policies as will negate such a principle of peaceful coexistence that will be resisted by the people.
“The party expects that the governor is aware of the deathly serious nature of this matter and that he cannot afford to dismiss it and attempt to have a Fulani colony established on any inch of Benue soil” the party stated.
SOURCE: Politics Nigeria