By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN CITY— AGAINST the backdrop of the decision of the Federal Government to establish “Ruga” settlements for Fulani herdsmen across the country, Edo State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said the people of the state will resist any attempt to cede an inch of Edo land for the purpose.
State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, who addressed newsmen in Benin City, yesterday, accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of planning to cede Edo land for the establishment of Ruga settlement for Fulani herdsmen and called on him to speak on the issue.
Meanwhile, the state government in a statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, while reacting to the PDP allegation, insisted that its agricultural plans have nothing to do with Ruga settlement, as these plans were developed long before Ruga settlement was muted.
According to him, “in all the agricultural programmes being executed by the Obaseki administration, the safety, security and prosperity of our people are top priority and non-negotiable. We assure Edo people that Governor Obaseki will not cede their rights and land to anybody, as our programmes, as a sovereign state, do not run on the back of any external entity.”
Orbih said: “In the midst of growing incidents of herdsmen killings in Edo State, we are shocked and bemused that Edo State Government is silent on making a clear and categorical statement on RUGA settlement in the state.
“It is alleged and feared that the APC government of Obaseki has indeed conceded land to the Federal Government for a pilot programme. Obaseki must understand that our land is our heritage.”