• If you fail to give us Ruga, There will be no peace in Nigeria — Northern Group say, attack Ohanaeze, Afenifere

  • AGAINST the backdrop of the suspension of the controversial Ruga settlement project by the Federal Government, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has declared that there will be no peace in the country if herdsmen are not allowed to move freely in any part of the country.

    The coalition, which had on Wednesday, given the Federal Government a 30-day ultimatum to rescind its suspension order and implement the Ruga initiative, also asserted that it was not afraid of the review of the “present union (referring to Nigeria) because what we have now is a collection of southerners and northerners, not Nigerians.”

    The CNG told the government to implement the Ruga project or it would be forced to take a decisive action.

    The Federal Government had suspended the programme on the grounds that it was not in tandem with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

    The spokesman of the CNG, Abdul Azeez Suleiman, in an interview with Saturday Tribune on Friday, said: “We are not withdrawing the ultimatum on the suspension of the programme by the government. You can’t deny some citizens their rights and think there will be peace in the country.”

    On the recent call by the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Igbos to defend themselves against any threat from any quarters, Suleiman, who said members of the coalition were not afraid of arrest, described what he called the threats of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, as “selfish and wicked.”

    He said: “I think the two bodies are selfish and wicked. We didn’t start this threat; they started it. First, it was Chief Gani Adams who we read saying he would lead one million Yoruba [warriors] to fish out herdsmen in the South-West.

    “Ohanaeze also called on their people for self-defence. Did we issue any threat? We were just making our stand known on the issue of Ruga.

    “Let them read our letter and see where we mentioned anything like that. Another person in the Niger Delta said the Fulani herdsmen would not be allowed in their area.

    “Truly, to our chagrin, we have begun to see some of these threats being practicalised. Now, we have a video footage of some Igbos chasing herdsmen out of their states. We want to tell them that we are not afraid of them. We are not afraid of anybody.

    “This union, Nigeria, as long as no one will be allowed to go and fend for himself in a ny part of the region, there will be no peace. We are not afraid of any review of the present union, because what we have now is a collection of southerners and northerners, not Nigerians.”

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