From Scholastica Onyeka Makurdi
The PDP in Benue has kicked against the inclusion of the state in the Federal Government planned Fulani colonies in the country.
The party asked Governor Hyacinth Alia to remove Benue from the list saying such moves portends danger and darkness for the people of the state.
The PDP made this demand in a statement signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, in Makurdi, yesterday.
“It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled administration of President Bola Tinubu has earmarked Benue as one among a few states where a Federal Government sponsored settlement for Fulani herdsmen is to be established,” the party said.
According to the statement, Vice President Kashim Shettima disclosed at a public function in Maiduguri, Borno State, last week that President Tinubu had approved 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.
The establishment of those Fulani colonies, according to VP Shettima, is part of a broad plan by the Federal Government to address the conflict in the north.
The PDP insisted that there was more darkness than light surrounding the planned Fulani community in the state.
“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 which bear semblance to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during 2nd World War.”
PDP alleged that it was Governor Hyacinth Alia who has put Benue on the said list of Fulani colonisation in order to fulfill promises he made to Fulani lobby groups to accommodate herdsmen in the state in return for their support and sponsorship during his campaigns at the last elections.
“PDP, therefore, demands that Governor Alia should, with dispatch, remove Benue from that list of colonisation, as the people of the state across all sections, the traditional leadership, religious organizations, civil society, institutions of representative leadership, had all during the Buhari administration clearly rejected such attempts to have herdsmen colonies in the state.”
The party recalled that Benue had vehemently rejected Ruga, the Water Resources Bill, Cattle Colony, Grazing Routes and every other form of Fulani colonisation efforts as were made in the past saying the situation has not changed.
“Benue does not need a Fulani colony, what the state needs is Governor Alia’s fulfillment of his promises to IDPs to resettle them back on their ancestral lands.
The PDP statement said 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 killings and plunder.
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