Friday, 28 June 2019

There’s no land for Ruga settlement in our region - Niger Delta elders

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has rejected the plan to establish settlements for herdsmen across the country.

PANDEF’s national secretary, Alfred Mulade, made this known in a statement.

The group accused the federal government of making the “disturbing decision unilaterally”.

It also alleged that the federal government is disrespecting the rule of law, saying the power to allocate lands was vested in governors.

PANDEF called on governors of states in the region to reject the idea, saying “it is capable of undermining the prevailing relative peace and security in the region.”

“Without any equivocation, PANDEF strongly condemns the programme and hereby states that there is no land anywhere in the Niger Delta Region for the establishment of such settlements for herdsmen, “the statement read.

“It is quite disturbing that in a democracy, the Federal Government would unilaterally decide the establishment of Ruga settlements or cattle colonies.

“It is necessary to note that the Land Use Act, enacted in 1978 to regulate land tenure and administration systems, and to ensure effective and equitable utilization of land and land resources in the country, vests all urban land within a state in the state governor, and all non-urban land in the local governments in which they are found.

“This disrespect to the Rule of Law with impunity and authoritarianism neither fits into the practice of Democracy nor supports Mr President’s recent recommendation of True Federalism for Nigeria.

“In fact, along with the re-submission of the Inland Waterways Bill and the approval of a Radio frequency for the establishment of Radio stations for herdsmen by the Federal Government, there is only one inescapable conclusion, and that is, Nigeria is towing a catastrophic destiny.”

The group also called on the federal government to do away with the plan or be ready to meet with resistance.

Ohanaeze and Afenifere has also opposed the establishment of settlements for herdsmen in the south east and south west, respectively.

Also, governors of Taraba and Benue as well as their counterparts in the south-east have all kicked against the proposed settlements.

The federal government said the initiative is meant to resolve the farmers-herders crisis.




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