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MUST READ: RUGA Saga: Give Us Sambisa Forest – Bodejo, Miyetti Allah Leader |The Republican News

National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, AlhajiAbdullabi Bodejo

• Nigerians not fair to Fulani

National President of Miyetti Allah Kautel Hore socio-cultural organization, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo has said that the Fulani herders can relocate to Sambisa forest if the facilities for carrying out their cattle business are provided. In this interview with WILLY EYA, he lamented the ugly experience the Fulani are going through in the country among other issues.

Following the massive protest against the Ruga settlement, the Federal Government has suspended the policy. As the National President of the Miyetti Allah Kautel Hore, how did that decision come to you?

Nobody requested for Ruga settlement in the first place. The Fulani already have their Ruga. What is the meaning of Ruga? Is it not a place where you have the Fulani houses? So, we already have Ruga but I do not know why all the confusion about all the issues concerning the Fulani in this country. This is because we have grazing reserve areas and people are not talking about it. They initially talked about the cattle colony and from there, they now started talking about Ruga. They said they wanted to settle the Fulani in one place but did anybody tell them what they wanted to do? Nobody had any meeting with them on the issue of Ruga but I noticed that there are now desperate people who claim to be Fulani leaders by all means. You can imagine, for instance, a Fulani man who has about 300 cows and nobody told him that they want to settle him in one place and suddenly, you started hearing about Ruga on the TV, radio and social media. See how innocent Fulani people are being chased away in the South East, South South and other places as if they are not Nigerians. What caused these things is the issue of Ruga but the Fulani being chased away do not even know about the Ruga policy. Even we the Fulani leaders did not know about the Ruga policy. We did not know any plan for that by the Federal Government or the Ministry of Agriculture. I have cows for instance and they are staying in Ruga but we have a problem with the cattle routes. If they are serious, let them come and discuss with the real Fulani leaders and not those who claim to be Fulani leaders and they go behind to collect bribe and speak for our people. How do you think you can settle the Fulani in one place? How many factories from the cow value chain do we have in this country now? If you say you want to put the Fulani in one Ruga settlement, how can you put for instance about 10,000 cows in one place? Do you want to kill the cows?

Don’t you think that why many Nigerians kicked against the Ruga settlement was because of your history? The fear in many quarters is that when they give you such settlements, your population begins to grow and after sometime, you not only claim ownership of such areas but appropriate more space to accommodate your growing population. The nearly intractable crisis between the Berom and the Fulani in Plateau State is usually a reference point to buttress this expansionist tendency–

Fulani people do not procreate more than the Tiv people. Some Tiv men marry more than 10 women. Who is talking that rubbish that Fulani grow in population and want to take over the land of other people? What about the Tiv people who give birth every second? Nobody is talking about them. Let me tell you, any place where you find the Fulani, they always progress because they are very intelligent. Do you want to stop my wife from getting pregnant so that the Fulani population will not grow again? Are you talking about the population of the cows or the Fulani? If you are talking about population of the Fulani, if they are not staying in the South South, South East, South West, Benue or Taraba, they can still give birth to children anywhere they are. Nobody can stop that one and nobody can drive them from Nigeria because they are indigenes. Forget what is happening to them now where they are chasing them away from here and there as if they are not Nigerians. Why they are doing all these things to us is because President Muhammadu Buhari is a Fulani man. They have turned every issue concerning the Fulani to politics in this country. Now, people who are thinking about the politics of 2023, they are using the Fulani issue to confuse the country. That is what they are using the issue of Ruga to do. In the case of Jos that you mentioned, nobody gave them any land there. They do not have any business with land but they settle there from time to do their cattle business. Do you know the meaning of Jos? It is how the Fulani used to call their cows that they got the name of Jos from and people are saying the Fulani want to take other people’s land. Like the issue of Ruga, if you do not create awareness about it, how can the Fulani benefit from it? If you take a Fulani man and keep him in NICON NOGA hotel, the following day, he would leave and run inside the bush to stay there. Nothing concerns the Fulani man with the hotel facilities. This is because it is not his culture.

But things cannot continue that way. All over the world, Nigeria is probably the only country now where you see cows still roaming about. Don’t you think it is time we embraced modern ways of the cattle business?

The problem in Nigeria is that both the federal and state governments are not serious about the issue of the Fulani. In the countries where you think the cows are not roaming about, they accepted the Fulani as their people. The threat that the Fulani are facing in this country today is because nobody wants to accept that they are Nigerians. Nobody wants to accept that the Fulani have rights in this country. Everybody is just trying to deny the Fulani their rights. For instance, the Benue, Taraba and other state governors are just working against the Fulani in their land. They behave as if they own the land but they do not own it; who gave it to them? Land belongs to God and everyone in Nigeria whether you are Tiv, Igbo, Ijaw and so on. If you are from Bayelsa for instance, do your business and allow the Fulani man to do his own. That is how God wants it to be. But see what is happening now in the country. The Fulani are facing so much threat in Nigeria.

Your argument is surprising, because many people see the Fulani as the major cause of the conflicts that we have in the country; in most of the clashes with farmers, they see them as the aggressors. So, you do not agree with that?

All these places that you mentioned now, the cows there belong mostly to politicians of those states. The politicians know about the value of cows very well. Most of the politicians want to collect the business of cows from the Fulani people. That is why they are creating all these problems. My position is that in anywhere there is conflict, anybody who breaks the law must be brought to book to face the consequences. For me, I have not seen any single man that the Fulani has killed. If you know any place where the Fulani killed somebody in the process of clashes with farmers, tell me. Mention the place and tomorrow, I will set up a committee to investigate it.

Some are toying with the possibility of settling the Fulani herders in Sambisa forest, which is a wide expanse of land that can accommodate any population. Don’t you think that with the proper facilities, such a place could permanently end the farmers/herders clashes?

Whether Sambisa or anywhere, the Fulani can stay. The Fulani people do not fear Sambisa or any forest. The Fulani are ready to stay anywhere there is bush but number one is that there must be water which their cows can drink and there must be grasses for their cows to eat. If Sambisa has all those facilities, you do not need to introduce it to the Fulani; they would go there and herd their cows. If you see any place where the Fulani do not go to, it is because such a place does not have water and grasses for the grazing of their cows. All the places like Enugu, Benue and Taraba, if Fulani don’t go there to fertilize their land, nobody will go there to farm. The Fulani have settled in many places including the Federal Capital Territory before the farmers came there. So, if the Federal Government could introduce the Fulani to the Sambisa forest, we are ready to go there. I will be the number one person who will go there.

Many people think that President Buhari is pampering the Fulani and that he is always coming out with some exclusive policies to favour his people; do you agree?

God will punish the father of any person who says Buhari is pampering any Fulani man. Let me tell you, in Nigeria, with what is happening to the Fulani, including when they are being killed, have you ever heard Buhari say anything? We love Buhari but even we the Fulani leaders, sometime we wonder the kind of president that God has given us. Even with what is happening to us, people do not want to leave President Buhari alone because he is Fulani. Do people want President Buhari to just delete us from the country so that they can be happy? Those who say Buhari is pampering the Fulani, no matter what the president does for them, they will still complain and be talking rubbish against him. That is why the Fulani is in a terrible situation in this country today. Buhari is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not for the Fulani. Look at the issue of Ruga, go and make your investigation very well, was it Buhari who gave the directive for the policy? It was done under the Ministry of Agriculture. Is the immediate past Minister of Agriculture a Fulani man? Like the issue of the cattle colony which was also shut down, did the Ministry of Agriculture consult Buhari before they started talking about the cattle colony? Ask yourself, why did the cattle colony fail?

Your sister organization, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) recently proposed the establishment of vigilance groups in the 36 states of the country; what is your view on that?

I do not support the move by MACBAN to establish vigilance groups. I do not know the crazy person that started talking about the establishment of vigilance groups in the South East. It is for what? It was the South East chairman of Miyetti Allah that started it. That man is not a Fulani man. He is among those sabotaging the interest of the Fulani in this country. God will punish him for that. Did he consult with the Fulani before talking about the establishment of vigilance groups in the country? Did he say that because he collected money or money for recharge cards? Is that why he can talk about the Fulani? He said they are cattle breeders but they can be breeding rats and all that there. He is not a real Fulani man. Let me tell you, some people are just trying to create confusion in this country. Most of the Fulani do not know anything happening including the recent issue of the Ruga settlement. You say you want to build houses for me and put me in the Ruga settlement and I am in the bush, are you going to arrest me from the bush and put me there? Nobody called the Fulani for any meeting to talk about the Ruga settlement. It is a big problem for the Fulani and we are really in trouble. I am calling on Mr President and the Inspector General of Police to protect the lives of the Fulani in this country. The Fulani are going through a lot of problems wherever they find themselves in this country. Mr President should suspend the Ruga settlement policy because we do not need it. (The Sun)

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RUGA: Yoruba Council Of Youths Call Northern Group Uncivilised Cowards For Issuing Empty Threat

Yoruba Youth Council Worldwide

The Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide refer to the Northern Coalition Group as uncivilised cowards that use cheap threat that is hollow on the rest of the country if RUGA settlement plan is not implemented. The YCYW called on Nigerians to ignore such empty threat that is an affront against the sovereignty of Nigeria and negates reasoning and sensibility of Nigerians irrespective of the fact that they committed treasonable felony and breach of public peace by their statement and still not yet arrested in the last 24 hours.

The press release is below.

PRESS STATEMENT

July 4th, 2019

Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW) has called on Nigerians to ignore the ranting of a man called Abdul-Azeez Suleiman and his group in a trending online video who they described as an uncivilized cowards, who issued a 30 days ultimatum to the government, especially the Southern Governors to either implement the Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) or face dare consequences.

We want to state categorically that the statement is an affront against the sovereignty of Nigeria and negates reasoning and sensibility of Nigerians, that some people who claimed to be representing Fulani Herdsmen publicly in the full glare of the media declared and comitted an act of treason felony, breach of public peace cum seditious hate speech, and Security operatives have not rounded them up for immediate prosecution after 24 hours. If this type of reckless statement had emanated from the South it may have been another story altogether.

The world is watching how President Buhari and heads of relevant Security outfits will react to this ugly developments.

Our position is that it is only unintelligent and tactless cowards that uses threat to instill fears in the mind of the people for rejecting what they don’t want, by issuing bogus statements to make them look bigger that their actual capability, no body should give in to such repugnant crude method because peaceful Nigerians are advanced beyond such tasteless method of doing things, the people are calm not because they don’t know how to react in such manner but it is naturally expected that these demented elements should have been more civilized than how they are poorly representing their ethnic group, in gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is also worrisome that Fulani elites have remained silent in the face of these jaundice and unhelpful provocations by some people claiming to represent their wishes and aspirations, we would not want to hurriedly conclude that their silence is a tactical endorsement for the ill motivated actions of these rogues or that they are supporting the bloody killings, kidnapping and banditry going on in the country.

In a Statement issued by the convener of the Group, Barr Dotun Hassan, he said that it is important to note that Nigeria is a sovereign country governed by law and as such no individual, no matter where they come from can openly issue threat to government and not be punished.

The Yoruba Youths wants all Nigerians to be calm in the face of this continuous unwarranted threat and provocation to anarchy by some people claiming to be representing the interest of the Fulanis who are minority in Nigeria.

On our part, we would explore all possible avenues to ensure that he and his collaborators present at the shameless Press conference where the unguided, divisive, hate speech and treasony comments were made be arrested by the security agents, we shall also use legal means to ensure that their arrest is effected, this is to use them as examples to others who may want to travel through the same journey in the nearest future.

Nobody can threaten the peace of law abiding citizens of this country and be allowed to walk free any longer. We want to call the attention of those constantly beating the war drum to note that, other tribes should not be provoked, they are calm should not be mistaken to mean that they are timid nor cowards.

The group also lauded President Muhammad Buhari for suspending the controversial RUGA project, that he would still need to take a step further by scrapping the programme completely, advising that no matter what form such scheme is re-presented in the future, the people are now more at alert, will reject it vehemently.

The group is canvasing for peaceful coexistence amongst all the various tribes in the country, expresses that only peace can bring economic growth to the country, urging the Federal government to always ensure that all their policies are devoid of favoring one particular ethnic group over the other, noting that such is the major cause of growing distrust in the country.

Since the President was elected in 2015, his appointment has been widely criticized due to his preference for Northerners in key positions including those manning the Security agencies, this alone is enough to embolden the people who comes from such ethnic bigot group to be conducting themselves as outlaws, which is dangerous to the peaceful and economic development of Nigeria.

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RUGA Threat: We Will Hold Northern Governors Responsible – Ohanaeze Youths

By Emmanuel Uzodinma

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, has threatened fire over the ultimatum issued by what it called a faceless coalition of Northern Youths over the controversial Ruga settlement.

DAILY POST reports that the youths had given the Federal Government 30 days to implement Ruga across the 36 States and the FCT.

But reacting, the OYC, through its President-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said their Northern counterparts were taking more than required.

He said “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth council worldwide had studied diligently and weighed the implications of the recent threat and 30-day ultimatum from a certain Northern group named “Coalition of Northern groups” over the suspension of Ruga settlement by the Presidency.

“We would have ignored them but for the unnecessary tension in the Southern Nigeria, especially Igbos emanating from the threat of this Northern group.

“We are fully aware that this recent threat is targeted only on the lives and properties of peaceful Nigerians of Igbo extraction doing businesses in 19 Northern States, and this is a declaration of war against the Igbos.”

He said though the Igbo youths would not fail to explore all peaceful avenues for the protection of lives and properties of Igbos living in the 19 Northern States, “our peaceful approach should not be understood as weakness as there are other options open to us over the recent threat.”

Isiguzoro, however, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari “for the suspension of the Ruga settlement program and the careful approach of the National Economic Council under Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and the Sub Committee led by Governor Dave Umahi.

“We urge the Coalition of Northern groups to direct Northern Governors to opt for the second option of ranching through this peaceful National livestock Transformation Programme rather than Ruga settlement, which was clearly rejected by the Southern Nigeria, especially the South East /South-South Governors and the people.

“OYC wishes to remind the leadership of the coalition of Northern groups of the grave implications of this recent threat. In the interest of national peace and security, they should withdraw the 30-day ultimatum, immediately.

“They’re out to use the guise of Ruga settlement program for land grabbing in the in Southern Nigeria; we warn that the Youths of South East and South-South are not ready to stomach the threat of genocidal ethnic cleansing against the Igbos in the North.

“We call on Igbos to be vigilant and defend themselves and if the Northern Governors, Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers led by Sultan of Sokoto and Religious leaders are not behind the recent threat, they should condemn it vehemently and call the warring youths to order.

“If they fail, we will hold them responsible for any loss of life or properties resulting from this.”

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RUGA: Ohanaeze Responds To Northern Group, Warns Will No Longer Tolerate These War Mongers

Ohanaeze President General, Chief Dr Nnia Nwodo

By Ike A. Offor

The President General of the socio-cultural group of the Igbo in the entire globe known as Ohanaeze has in its response sternly warned the Northern Coalition Group with regards to their 30-day ultimatum for the federal government to rescind its decision to suspend RUGA settlement plan. The Northern Coalition group has earlier in a video making rounds warned the entire southern Nigeria of dire consequences, if they do not accept the RUGA, which they interpreted as refusal to Fulani right of abode in Southern part of Nigeria.

In a very sternly-worded press release, the Ohanaeze president warned the group of giving threat to the rest of the country and asked the federal government to dismantle the federal structure and allow Autonomous Federating Units. Ohanaeze also warned that it will no longer tolerate Northern war mongers and asked the Igbo to get ready to defend itself.

Read the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

My attention has been drawn to a broadcast by Abdul Azeez Suleman, speaking for a coalition of Northern Groups in which he had the audacity to give the Federal Government an ultimatum of 30 days to rescind its decision on the suspension of its RUGA settlements policy. Abdul went further to threaten the expulsion of Southerners resident in the North at the expiration of his dateline if the Federal Government does not rescind its suspension decision.

This irresponsible, unlawful and provocative outburst reminds me of the quit notice from Northern Youths two years ago.

Ohanaeze insists that the RUGA policy is an Islamization and a Fulanisation policy. It is a violation of our constitution and Supreme court decisions on the Land Use Act. It’s suspension without cancelation leaves the Federal Government still in violation of our laws.

The threat to evict law abiding Nigerians from their places of abode in Northern Nigeria is treasonable and obviously like the gun trotting herdsmen will go unnoticed by our Federally controlled law enforcement agencies. Let Abdul, the Federal Government and others like them take notice that Ohanaeze has no objections to all Igbos in the North returning home so long as all Northerners in the East leave the East and we dismantle the Federal structure imposed on us by the military and return to Autonomous Federating Units.

The nepotism exhibited by this Federal Government, her duplicity of standards in law enforcement, her undisguised Fulanisation policy is repugnant to rule of law and good governance. We will no longer tolerate any further threats from these Northern war mongers.

After all, who should be the aggrieved under the circumstance? The millipede that has been marched is whimpering, but the person that marched it is complaining that his foot has been soiled. The South that is bearing the yoke of oppression from cattle herders are trying their best to coexist with their aggressors, yet it is the aggressors that are threatening further mayhem. This cannot be.

I call on all Igbos to be ready to defend themselves. Enough of these threats!

Chief John Nnia Nwodo
President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.

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