The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Reverend Adewale Martins has called on the Federal government to listen to the cries of Nigerians against the establishment of cattle colonies in states across the country.
He spoke to our correspondent shortly after administering the sacrament of confirmation on over 500 adherent of the Catholic faithful at the St Joseph Catholic Church, Kirikiri Town, saying that the establishment of Fulani settlement in states, in the name of Ruga, will create fear and suspicion among the people of the state.
He urged the Federal government to take the fear of the people of Nigeria into consideration and think out a way of settling the problems between farmers and herders, especially in the consideration that the crisis between the herdsmen and some communities in the country, which had claimed many lives, had been witnessed in the past.
His words: “Before now it had been a settlement for herdsmen and suddenly we are hearing about Ruga; it’s a very strange name to me; it just like finding another word for what people had rejected which obviously means that the Federal government needs to listen to what the people are saying. The experience of the so-called herdsmen in so many places is not pleasant, and so naturally, if you want to come to settle them there, it’s bound to bring up fear and suspicion and therefore it’s important that the Federal government should listen and therefore think out another option for what they are talking about such that the way people are thinking. They can be given assurance that nobody is trying to take their land.”
The Catholic Archbishop again supported recent comment by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that there is an agenda to “fulanised” Nigeria by the present government, explaining that, “people are worried, and they are concerned; the experience of the Fulani herdsmen that we had in the last five years had not been pleasant at all, and if nothing had been done to checkmate their activities, anybody can have a feeling that there is an agenda. And indeed, it gives one a very strong feeling that there is an agenda to stir the country towards that direction, an agenda to dominate others which our government needs to take seriously.”
He called on the government to take the allegation seriously and do more to reassure Nigerians that it was not working towards that direction, especially as the measure of trust that they need from Nigerians is not there and there is a need to build that trust if Nigerians will really take them seriously.
Archbishop Martins urged the government to do more to clear the container-bearing trailers in the Apapa, Kirikiri area to ensure that the people of the area enjoy their stay in Lagos.
He lamented that heavy-traffic gridlock at inward Kirikiri from Mile 2, calling on both state and Federal governments to work towards opening up the road for easy access to the Kirikiri town.
The cleric called on the government to fix the road to ensure that there is easy entry and exit in and out of the Kirikiri town.
Earlier in his homily, the Catholic clergy called on politicians to do their job the way God had instructed them to. He admonished Christians to always listen to the call of God, urging them to always follow Christ, learn from Him and live by Him.
The Parish Priest of St Joseph Catholic Church Kirikiri, Reverend Father Cletus Udoh thanked the archbishop for coming especially in consideration of his busy scheduled. (The Sun)
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