By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
PAN Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, yesterday, declared that the entire South and Middle Belt would continue to oppose the sneaky implementation of the proposed Ruga settlement programme for Fulani herdsmen by the Federal Government no matter the intimidation.
The umbrella body of traditional rulers, leaders and stakeholders of the coastal states of Niger Delta stated this in a statement by the National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, reacting to the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, by suspected Fulani herdsmen at the weekend.
It stated: “While we condole with the family of Pa Fasoranti, Afenifere and indeed, the entire Southwest, PANDEF shall continue to urge and mobilize a sustained mass resistance against these enemies of Nigeria, who manifest their evil handiwork in several forms, including, Fulani herdsmen and RUGA settlement policy.”
The South-South body also said the conspirators have also shown their hands in “Radio frequency for herdsmen, the undignified, shameful and embarrassing embossing of photographs of herdsmen and cows on our precious International Passport, banditry, kidnappings and killings.”
“It is heart-broken and disappointing the path President Muhammadu Buhari’s government had resolved to surreptitiously adopt, the obnoxious RUGA Settlement program for Fulani herdsmen to enable them effectively have a field day in their colonization, fulanization and islamization of the entire country and killing of our people.
“It is a potent danger that the entire south and the Middle will continue to resist, at whatever cost,” the group said.
PANDEF stated: “It is a matter of grave concern that the ultimatum issued by certain unknown quantities of Northern extraction with intent to compel the Federal Government to implement RUGA in Southern Nigeria is tantamount to treasonable felony, and an attempt to break-up the country.”
On the death of Mrs Olakunrin, it asserted, “It is with great sadness that PANDEF received news of gruesome killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, 58 -year -old daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, near Ore junction, as she was reported to be on her way from Akure, Ondo state.
“This callous and barbaric action by the Fulani herdsmen has become one too many and totally unacceptable.
“It is quite unfortunate that unprovoked and unwarranted killings of this nature of well- meaning and law- abiding citizens of this country have become a daily occurrence that Nigeria has been subjected to in the hands of Fulani herdsmen,” the group said.