Benue State’s Peoples Democratic Party rejected plans to build a Fulani colony there.
At a public event last week in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, Vice President Kashim Shetima announced that the current administration had approved the construction of 1,000 houses for the Fulani community in the states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, and Benue. These homes will also include all ancillary facilities such as schools, clinics, and veterinary clinics.
Through its press secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, the opposition PDP in the state referred to the establishment of Fulani colonies as being of a “deathly serious nature” and warned that the residents of the state would strongly oppose it.
Recall that the PDP-led state government under Samuel Ortom’s immediate predecessor, Muhammad Buhari, had repeatedly rejected similar measures.
The party urged the state governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, to have the state removed from the list in a statement released by Iortyom and made available to journalists in Makurdi on Monday.
The group noted that while the other selected states all have sizable indigenous Fulani populations and sizable land holdings on which such colonies may be located, Benue never had a peer-to-peer basis for admission in the group.
In other words, in those other states, it may be logical to build such colonies where a Fulani population is already there and which would easily fit therein.
There is no indigenous Fulani population in Benue with sufficient land holdings to support such a colony.
“Second, it is unfair and ultimately insensitive to establish a colony for the Fulani with all the amenities of modern living in a state where victims of the genocidal atrocities committed by those same Fulani are still displaced from their lands and sources of livelihood and living in camps that resemble the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during the Second World War in appalling conditions.
The party expressed concern over the fact that the Federal Government’s 2018 promised to relocate individuals who had been displaced back to their homes and to provide them $10 billion never came to pass. This promise was made by former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“That commitment by Vice President Osinbajo has not been carried out to this point, and the displaced individuals in the IDP camps are still even now being assaulted and slaughtered by Fulani herdsmen right there in the camps and dare not approach near their looted and abandoned ancestral lands to scrounge for food.