Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said the party will not fail to sue Governor Godwin Obaseki if he goes ahead with his purported plans to cede parts of the state for Ruga settlement.
State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, disclosed the party’s position in Benin as it concerns the Federal government’s proposed Ruga settlement in the country.
Orbih said the interest of the people is paramount to the party and it is bent on ensuring the interest is protected to the letter even if it involves taking legal action against the governor.
“It is not something that is political. It is something about the Edo people. We had reports of people being killed, people being chased out of their homes.
“This is quite disturbing. You will agree with me that it is not in our culture to bring in animals to destroy farms that we labour to cultivate.
“This issue of Ruga settlement can be likened to the situation where you will carry pigs from the south, to a complete Muslim community and you say you want to create a space for people who have engaged in piggery to do their farms in a Muslim community. That is the same way it is for us in Edo State, when you know very well that it is not part of our culture.
“So, if the governor decides to go ahead in spite of the opposition by the good people of Edo State, we feel heavily heartbroken. You can be rest assured that we will take all available steps to protect the interest of our people.
“You cannot rule out our position to take a legal action if he decides to go ahead,” he stressed.
The party boss said more worrisome was the awkward silence from the governor of the state when other governors in some states had come out to vehemently oppose the proposed decision of the Federal government to establish Ruga settlement across the country.
“In the past few days, a lot have been said and written about Fulani herdsmen and the emerging Ruga settlements across the nation. Some state governments like Benue have come out with a clear and unambiguous message of rejection of the unacceptable plans for the establishment of Ruga settlement in the state.
“In the midst of growing incidents of herdsmen killings in Edo State, we are shocked and bemused that Edo State government is silent on making a clear and categorical statement on Ruga settlement in the state. It is alleged and feared that the APC government of Godwin Obaseki has indeed conceded land to the Federal government for a pilot programme.
“Governor Obaseki must understand that our land is our heritage. He must realise that land is finite and cannot be used in exchange for political bargains and favour!
“Governor Obaseki must listen to Edo people, listen to the cries of traumatised victims of Fulani herdsmen, widows and widowers, orphans and family members who have borrowed to pay ransom for kidnapped victims. Edo people reject Ruga settlement.
“Edo PDP demands a clear statement from the government on its position on this Ruga settlement,” he added.
He also frowned at the crisis currently rocking the Edo State House of Assembly, noting that at this point in time, they ought to have been in session in order to reject the Ruga settlement proposal of the Federal government.