The President general Chief Nnia Nwodo reacts to the 30-day ultimatum the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) gave to governors who rejected the Ruga settlement programme to reconsider their decision.
Recall, that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Government had on Wednesday, announced the suspension of the Ruga Initiative, which it proposed to resolve the clashes between Farmers and Herdsmen, around the country but in a press briefing by the Spokesperson for the CNGs Mr. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who stated that the dispute with respect to the Initiative, is already provoking resentment among the Herders, who are of Fulani extraction.
Nwodo, the leader of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, while reacting to the comment by the Spokesperson for the CNGs called on Igbos to be ready to defend themselves against “Northern war mongers”, says threat will no longer be tolerated by any group of people against Igbos or any Nigerian citizen all the name of National Unity.
Chief Nnia described the action of the coalition as “irresponsible and treasonable”, insisting that the Ruga initiative violates the constitution.
His words: “My attention has been drawn to a broadcast by Abdul Azeez Suleman, speaking for a coalition of Northern Groups in which he had the audacity to give the Federal Government an ultimatum of 30 days to rescind its decision on the suspension of its RUGA settlements policy,” he said in a statement.
“This is irresponsible, unlawful and provocative outburst reminds me of the quit notice from Northern Youths two years ago.
“Ohanaeze insists that the RUGA policy is an Islamization and a Fulanisation policy; it is a violation of our constitution and Supreme court decisions on the Land Use Act. Its suspension without cancellation leaves the Federal Government still in violation of our laws.
“The threat to evict law abiding Nigerians from their places of abode in Northern Nigeria is treasonable and obviously like the gun trotting herdsmen will go unnoticed by our Federally controlled law enforcement agencies…
“I call on all Igbo to be ready to defend themselves. Enough of these threats!”
He said the Igbo residing in the north have no objection to leaving as long the northerners based in the south-east would also relocate.
Nwodo said by so doing, we would have “dismantled the federal structure imposed on us by the military and return to autonomous federating units”.
“Let Abdul, the federal government and others like them take notice that Ohanaeze has no objections to all Igbos in the North returning home so long as all Northerners in the east leave the east,” he added.
“The nepotism exhibited by this federal government, her duplicity of standards in law enforcement, her undisguised Fulanisation policy is repugnant to rule of law and good governance.
“We will no longer tolerate any further threats from these northern war mongers. After all, who should be aggrieved under the circumstance? The South that is bearing the yoke of oppression from cattle herders are trying their best to coexist with their aggressors, yet it is the aggressors that are threatening further mayhem. This cannot be.”