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Think Tank, Benue Groups set to stop herdsmen with their blood

The current state of insecurity, continued killings, kidnapping and the onslaught of Boko Haram (fighters) who daily slaughter innocent Nigerians are enough threats already to the continued existence of Nigeria.

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Three main socio-cultural organisations in Benue State: the Mdzough U Tiv, the Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Omi Ny’ Igede and socio-political organisation, the Igbo Oriental Think Tank, have warned federal government of Nigeria said the Ruga settlement was another ploy to claim lives and cause war.

The Benue groups, signed in a statement by Chief Edward Ujege, Adoya Amali and Bem Okpa, vowed that the people of the state would resist the establishment of Ruga settlements with the last drop of their blood.

They noted that the decision to establish Ruga settlements for the Fulani herdsmen of West Africa was to deprive the indigenes of their land.

The groups recalled that the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier directed that the non- existence cattle routes, grazing reserves and cattle colonies should be established in Benue State.

They noted that the award of contract by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the establishment of Ruga settlements showed the urge by the Miyetti Allah to claim the Benue valley as the original settlers and owners.

In their words: “We hereby state unequivocally that the Fulani herdsmen have never occupied or owned the Benue valley. The Federal Government under the present leadership and the Miyetti Allah are one and the same. Benue State has an established law: a law that prohibits open grazing and establishment of ranches in 2017. Ruga settlements cannot hold.

“That the Land Use Act has vested land within the state in the state governor and all non-urban land in the local government to the council chairmen.

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“How will the Federal Government cause the deterioration of Benue State economy and go on to blame it on the people and state government?” he asked.

Think Tank kicks

In the part of the Igbo socio-political organisation, the Igbo Oriental Think Tank, they warned that Nigeria might not survive an impending genocide as a result of the establishment of Fulani settlements by the Federal Government.

The group said establishing the settlements popularly known as Ruga in the 36 states of the federation should be halted with immediate effect so that Nigerians could sit down and decide the way forward.

The IOTT in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja by its Coordinating Secretary, Dr Kenneth Anozie, on Wednesday, said the Nigerian economy was already grappling with enough crises in education, infrastructure, human capital development, health and other social vices which required urgent attention.

In his words: “It has come to our notice with shock and disbelief the current plans by the All Progressives Congress government of President Muhammadu Buhari to forcefully set up Fulani settlements across the 36 states of the federation, but with particular reference in the Middle Belt, South-East, South-South and South-West.

“This report is quite disturbing coming on the heels of the threat of the Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors, the Miyetti Allah, to set up Fulani vigilante groups across the South-East and other parts of Nigeria.

“The current state of insecurity, continued killings, kidnapping and the onslaught of Boko Haram (fighters) who daily slaughter innocent Nigerians are enough threats already to the continued existence of Nigeria, let alone the resultant effect of this present plot on Nigeria.”

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