Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The three main socio cultural organisations in Benue State – the Mdzough U Tiv, the Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Omi Ny’ Igede have rejected the proposed construction of Ruga settlements in the state.
In a statement jointly signed by the President Generals of Mdzough u Tiv, Edward Ujege; Ochetoha k’ Idoma, Amali Adoya Amali and that of Omi Ny’ Igede, Ben O. Okpa, the group expressed shock over the new approach of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to establish settlements for the Fulani of the West Africa.
The group lamented that the move would deprive the indigenes of their land, given to them by their fore fathers.
“The award of contract by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for establishment of Ruga settlements boils down to one and the same as the urge by Miyetti Allah to claim the Benue valley as the original settlers and owners.
“We hereby state unequivocally that the Fulani herdsmen have never occupied or owned the Benue valley. The Federal Government under the present leadership and Miyetti Allah are one and the same. The group insisted that Ruga settlement could not hold in the state ‘‘ because the people with one voice have agreed that Benue State has an established law, “A law to prohibit open grazing and establishment of ranches 2017”.