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March 14, 2024

Asking govs to give lands to Fulani herdsmen for ranching is careless – IPOB tells Tinubu

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IPOB member displaying Biafra flag

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has described as “careless and thoughtless” the call by President Bola Tinubu on governors to give parts of the land in their states to Fulani herders for RUGA or ranching.

IPOB, on Thursday, said Fulani herders are notorious for killing the Nigerian people as they move their cattle around the South and Middle Belt, and as such it is dangerous to accommodate them.

The group said this in a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful to react to the call by Tinubu while speaking at the flag-off of the agricultural mechanisation revolution for food security in Minna, Niger State capital on Monday.

Speaking, Tinubu said, “I know what it means as an economic sabotage for roaming cows to eat up the crops and vegetation of our lands; it could be painful but when we re-orientate the herders and make provision for cattle rearing, the problems will be solved.

“The Governors should provide the lands and I as the President, am committed in giving you a comprehensive programme that will solve this problem towards banishing hunger from the land.” 

Reacting on Thursday, IPOB said such a call was considered “careless, thoughtless and a great insult to the indigenous people in Nigeria who have been massacred by the same foreign marauding Fulani herdsmen.”

While reiterating its position not to allow the governors in South-East to cede any part of their land to RUGA, the Nnamdi Kanu-led group said, “We in the IPOB movement and family will never allow ceding or selling any part of our ancestral land to these dangerous Fulani terrorists and bandits for whatever reason. 

“The region [South-East] has no land for Fulanis for whatever purpose. Biafrans are farmers and pastoralists, too. Our lands are not sufficient for Biafrans to farm and rear livestock, let alone cede some to the dangerous terrorists.  

“Those regions in the North and Middle Belt that accommodated Fulanis today are conducting mass burial of their people. Many are displaced to IDP camps, from their ancestral lands because it has been taken over and renamed by the Fulanis marauding jihadists.” 

“President Ahmed Bola Tinubu should not think that Fulani jihadists will suddenly love him or free all their kidnapped victims in Northern Nigeria because he wanted to yield to their demands,” IPOB said.

“Nigerian security agencies have what it takes to launch hostage rescue missions against the Northern Fulani terrorists. But if Tinubu’s government decides to be intimidated by the mass kidnap antics of the Caliphate, then he will end up as the worst government. 

“The murderous Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors sustain insecurity, insurgency and mass abduction, and ransom payments. Any serious government can stop these atrocities.  

“Fulani herdsmen and bandits must know that Biafra territory is a no-go area. We call on the people of the South-West and Middle Belt to rise up and reject Tinubu’s call.

“Any region that allows Fulani occupation either by RUGA or ranching is doomed,” IPOB stated.

The Ruga policy is a Nigerian policy intended to reduce herder–farmer conflicts in Nigeria. it was introduced by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, and aimed at resolving the conflict between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and sedentary farmers.

Ruga is the Fulani word for human settlement, and can also be interpreted as the acronym of “rural grazing area”.

The policy which has been widely criticised by the majority of Nigerians, was designed to “create reserved communities where herders will live, grow and tend their cattle, produce milk and undertake other activities associated with the cattle business without having to move around in search of grazing land for their cows.”

Vanguard News