By Ovasa Ogaga,
Midwest Movement a pan-Edo/Delta group drawn from the ethnic nationalities of the old Midwestern Region, has rejected the renewed move by the Federal Government to settle Fulani herders in colonies to be known as RUGA settlements in Delta and Edo States.
The group in a press statement signed by its Convener, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki frowns at the attempt by the Federal Government to forcefully annex lands belonging to various ethnic nationalities across Nigeria throws the back door, describing the move as “21st century Colonization.”
They therefore, called on the Federal Government to “immediately rescind its planned veiled colonization of our peoples, while enjoining the Governments of our home-states of Edo and Delta reject same in clear and unequivocal terms.”
According to the group, “the attention of the Midwest Movement, the pan-Edo/Delta group of distinguished sons and daughters drawn from the Ethnic Nationalities of the old Midwestern Region, has been drawn to the renewed plot by the Federal Government to forcefully or tacitly annex swaths of lands belonging to various ethnic nationalities in States across Nigeria, in a bid to settle Fulani herders in colonies to be known as RUGA Settlements.
“The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Umar reiterated this untoward plan, on Tuesday 25th June 2019 in Abuja. Reportedly, The Federal Government within the next five years plans to establish these said Ruga settlements in states across the country.
“The Midwest Movement totally and unequivocally rejects this brazen “21st century Colonization” in its entirety!
“We call on the Federal Government to immediately rescind its planned veiled colonization of our peoples, while enjoining the Governments of our home-states of Edo and Delta reject same in clear and unequivocal terms. While not opposing the desire of the Federal Government to settle nomadic herdsmen (and any other such groups whatsoever), these should be done in areas and land that are native to such groups.
“The planned aggregation in whatever guise, of the lands of the 12 ethnic nationalities of the Midwest Region of Nigeria, without recourse to consultations with the traditional and bonafide owners, is akin to an invasion.
“As peace-loving people, and firm believers in a One Nigeria where peace, justice and equity reigns, the Midwest/Bendel peoples of Delta and Edo States firmly advice the Federal Government against the perpetuation of any policy that may impact negatively on the seeming already strained unity of the Nigerian federation.
“We call on Mr. President, the Governors of both Edo and Delta States, our national legislators, our leaders, the international community and all persons of goodwill to help keep Nigerians and its indigenous peoples safe.”