The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), have faulted Walil Jubril, Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, over his position on the suspended federal government’s Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlement policy.
Jubril had told journalists in Nasarawa State on Tuesday, that the policy will promote peace and security in the country, urging Nigerians to embrace it.
He also stated that the programme will boost food security in the country.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, spokesmen of the forum, Yinka Odumakin from the South West, Professor Chigozie Ogbu from the South East, Bassey Henshaw of South-South and Isuwa Gogo, representing the Middle Belt, reiterated their stance against the policy.
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The group noted that Jubril inadvertently confirmed their fears that RUGA was meant to promote ethnicity, against promoting nationhood.
It also said that the programme sought to create settlements for Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria, despite the terror Fulanis have unleashed on Nigerians in the past 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 remain 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 said.
They also added that though they adopted PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as presidential candidate in the 2019 election based on his promise to restructure the country, they were not members of the 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!” it further stated.