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South, Middle Belt forum faults PDP BoT chairman on RUGA

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The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) have lampooned Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Walil Jubril over his stance on the suspended Federal Government’s Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlement policy.

Jubril had told journalists at his country home in Nasarawa State on Tuesday that the proposed RUGA policy for herdsmen would promote peace and security in the country and urged Nigerians to embrace it.

He also explained that the programme would boost food security and improve the health and standard of living in rural communities.

But in a statement yesterday, spokesmen of the group, Yinka Odumakin (South West), Professor Chigozie Ogbu (South East), Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), restated their commitment to protecting lives and lands of the regions against the policy.

The group noted that Jubril had confirmed their fears that RUGA was an ethnic conquest policy at variance with nationhood given his assertions.

It added that RUGA sought to create homelands for Fulani herdsmen all over the country in spite of the terror non-Fulani communities have been subjected to in the last couple of years.

“Southern and Middle Belt communities have rejected the internal colonialism agenda. We say to Jubril that his appeal for our zones to accept the obnoxious policy is rejected with no thanks.

“He should join his fellow ethnic supremacists to pursue RUGA in Northern states that have accepted the policy and spare us his sophistry.

“Our opposition to the policy remains unwavering and it will only be implemented in our communities after a military conquest of the entire South and Middle Belt, as we have told Femi Adesina that we will keep our lands and lives against the policy,” the statement reads.

They added that although they adopted former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as their presidential candidate in the last general elections based on his promise to restructure Nigeria, they were not members of PDP.

“We charge all PDP governors in the zones to ignore Jubril, who has spoken as a champion of his Fulani ethnic group but wearing PDP’s badge. We say NO to Ruga!, the statement added.


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