SWITZERLAND, JUNE 30 -The Middle Belt Forum has described the Ruga settlement project as a plot by the Federal Government to resettle terrorist herdsmen in the middle belt region and other parts of the country.
The MBF National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, stated that the programme would precipitate grave humanitarian crisis in the affected areas if the FG went ahead with its plan.
Dogo, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, insisted that the programme was part of the plot to “import criminal Fulani from within and neighbouring countries to settle them in our communities in order to change the demography for political, social and economic advantage in pursuit of the much talked about ‘Fulanisation’ agenda of the present administration.”
The MBF wondered why the FG was hell-bent on establishing the Fulani settlements in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Taraba states, despite widespread opposition to the idea.
It said, “Going by the insistence of the Federal Government to forcefully establish these Ruga settlements, it suggests to us that the government is on a mission to settle criminal terrorist herdsmen that are behind the incessant invasions of our communities and displacing our people from their ancestral lands, thereby precipitating grave humanitarian crisis situation in the affected areas.
“Despite these incessant invasions of our communities, often times on a genocidal scale by marauding Fulani herdsmen, the FG has never deemed it fit to apprehend, prosecute or convict any of the aggressors.”
The forum argued that if there was any need for the government to use taxpayers’ money to build settlements for any particular group, it should be for those displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West and Fulani herdsmen’s invasions in the Middle Belt and the South.
It lamented the deplorable condition of the Internally Displaced Persons camps, arguing that any responsible government would focus on ameliorating the suffering of these categories of people.
“Any responsible and responsive government would not engage in the vain pursuit of ethnic chauvinistic agenda aimed at enthroning the supremacy of one group over others as an official state policy,” the group said.