Rt. Rev. Paul Udogu, the Anglican Bishop of Afikpo Diocese in Ebonyi State has sounded a warning against reconsidering the suspension of the RUGA settlements for herdsmen in the country.
The clergyman said that there was a possibility that the Buhari administration would reverse its earlier decision to suspend the programme, as he warned that the establishment of RUGA settlements could result in the disintegration of the country.
Udogu who was speaking at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church Ozizza Afikpo, Ebonyi state during 1st session of the 5th synod of Afikpo Diocese, accused the President Buhari-led administration of giving preference to herdsmen and cows as they were treated as a special class of people.
Rev. Udogu further said that there was a plan by the Federal Government to create a radio for Fulani herdsmen as well as to hand a gift of N100billion to Miyetti Allah. stating that this gave the impression that the government was treating the Fulani and their cows as first class citizens.
He denounced the criminal activities of some of these herdsmen who were armed as he fingered their actions as the cause of rising insecurity while describing their activities as alarming. According to the Rev, almost all the geopolitical zones in the country have been placed under siege by the herdsmen.
Udogo then went on to make a call to President Buhari to stand up to the challenge before the situation spirals out of control.
Udogu said “few days ago, we heard that the federal government has suspended RUGA . We know that when you suspend something today, you can come back to it tomorrow but we want to say without mincing words; enough of that policy is enough. In this country, we don’t want it.
“Three days ago, a group of people in Northern Nigeria, issued 30-days ultimatum to the federal government for them to reverse back the RUGA programme. But we are trusting God that the federal government will think twice and save this country from disintegration, war, and crisis.
“The directive to all Nigerians to surrender their guns to the police whether legally or illegally acquired is ambiguous and suspicious. Nigerians expect our security agencies to first disarm the Fulani herdsmen who are moving around with AK47 and other deadly weapons before asking innocent citizens to surrender arms . We do not advocate for illegal acquisition of arms but all over the world, people have right to self defense in case of unprovoked attacks.
“The federal government plan to establish Fulani herdsmen radio and the alleged gift of N100billion to Miyetti Allah gang gives the impression that the Fulanis are considered and treated as a special class while others are second class citizens. One wonders why such
radio station was not established for IPOB members or for Niger Delta militants”.
The clergyman made a call on the National Assembly to put into consideration the recommendations which were made during the 2014 National Conference as well to take another look at issues of restructuring the nation as a means of ensuring that there is justice and equity across the various zones in Nigeria.
He gave the explanation that a determined, sincere, sensitive, focused and unbiased leadership will put a stop to the problems which are confronting the nation.
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