…wants Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara, FCT ceded to South
By News Critic reporters
A civil society and human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, has said that no fewer than 800 defenceless Christians mostly of old Middle belt stock have been massacred between January to June 2019 by Fulani Herdsmen.
In a statement issued by the group titled ‘Drop RUGA and adopt National Policy on Land and Boundary Adjustments to address injustices Against South-East, it regretted that the President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof Yemi Osinbajo administration now operate as if its main policy direction is the cattle policies.
Intersociety said in the statement that ‘’as a matter of fact, the Ruga and NLTP programs have ushered in a new dark era whereby, the lives of cows or threats to them are now worth more than those of human citizens and their living in Nigeria’’.
It said that the federal government should go beyond the suspension of the implementation of RUGA and discontinue with the National Livestock Transformation Program. In their stead the group advocated for a new national policy on lands and boundary adjustments, so as to address the age long injustices against the peoples of Southern Nigeria.
This proposal which is contained in the statement made available to News Critic recommended that the government should initiate a process by way of executive sponsored bill to the National Assembly, with the necessary constitutional amendments to cede the present states of Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara and FCT to Southern Nigeria.
According to the group these states are originally part of the Forest Region of Nigeria as opposed to others known as the “People of Grassland of Nigeria”. It also called on the Nigerian government to acquire enough lands from large landmass being held by present states of Borno and Yobe States in the Northeast to serve as new states for ‘indigenous’ Fulani populations in Nigeria. ‘’All forms of cattle grazing routes southwards and middle belt wards shall be abolished’’, the statement adds.
The statement was signed by Chinwe Umeche, Head of Democracy and Good Governance Program, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head of Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Program and Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman of Intersociety.
On the killing of Christians, the group said the claims by the government of striving to find a lasting solution to the clashes between herdsmen and farmers do not hold water, as Fulani jihadist atrocities across the country have continued and escalated without checks.
‘’Just last two Sundays ago on 30th June 2019, not fewer than 25 Christian worshipers were attacked during their church service in Okokolo Village in Agatu, Benue State, and massacred by the marauding Fulani jihadists. No fewer than 750-800 defenseless Christians mostly of old Middle stock have been massacred in the first six months of 2019 or January to June by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen alone.
‘’The Buhari and Osinbajo Administration now operate as if its main policy direction is the cattle republic, colony and policies. As a matter of fact, the “Ruga” and “NLTP” programs have ushered in a new dark era whereby, the lives of cows or threats to them are now worth more than those of human citizens and their living in Nigeria’’.