Home » Benue State Leaders Firmly Oppose Federal Government’s Housing Plans for Fulani Herdsmen

Benue State Leaders Firmly Oppose Federal Government’s Housing Plans for Fulani Herdsmen

by Adenike Adeodun

In a defiant stance, the chiefs and leaders representing various socio-cultural groups of Benue State have openly refused to accommodate the Federal Government’s housing projects for Fulani herders within their jurisdiction.

The recent disclosure from the Federal Government about constructing 1,000 housing units across seven states, including Benue, has been met with suspicion and staunch resistance.

Benue’s leaders contend that the hurried announcement appears mischievous, especially when many indigenous citizens remain homeless.

The statement released over the weekend bears signatures from notable figures: Iorbee Ihagh, President General of Mzough U Tiv (MUT, Worldwide), and AVM Toni Adokwu (retd), President General of Ochetoha k’Idoma (OKI).

They emphasize that they cannot offer their land for projects benefiting the Fulani herders. Over two million Benue natives, uprooted by armed confrontations with these herders, languish in numerous Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state.

While the Federal Government’s housing project aims to mitigate conflicts in the north and promises amenities such as schools, clinics, and ranches, Benue leaders still need to be addressed.

According to a report by Vanguard, they argue that any infrastructure development should involve consultations with all stakeholders, especially the State Government. There is a need for more transparency and a rapid approval process to heighten their reservations.

Furthering their concerns, the leaders questioned the hasty rollout without involving the state government. They emphasize that the immediate priority should be resettling the large number of IDPs.

Instead, they observe a disturbing focus on providing for outsiders, which many perceive as the cause of the residents’ displacement.

Benue’s leaders have rallied behind their State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, resolving not to surrender any land to the Federal Government for the alleged oppressors’ benefit.

They perceive the recurrent push to establish colonies as a concerning agenda, urging unity among Benue’s inhabitants to resist such initiatives.

Without equivocation, the leaders have a clear message for President Bola Tinubu: shelve this project. They further urge the commencement of a meaningful resettlement and rehabilitation process for the state’s IDPs.

Their ancestral homes and a return to normalcy should be the priority before embarking on any external housing schemes.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the leaders spotlighted the Moon Council Ward of Kwande LGA, where native residents have been forced out, and their homes are now under armed herders’s control.

They passionately call on the Federal Government to intervene and adopt the Benue State ranching law, fostering a harmonious relationship between farmers and herders.


Source: Vanguard

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