The Peoples Democratic Party in Benue State has turned down the proposed establishment of a Fulani colony in the state.
The Vice President, Kashim Shetima, had at a public function in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State last week stated that the present administration had approved the construction of 1,000 houses in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Benue states with all the ancillary facilities of schools, clinics, veterinary clinics and ranches for the Fulani community.
The opposition PDP in the state through its publicity secretary, Bemgba Iortyom described the establishment of Fulani colonies, as a ‘deathly serious nature’ and vowed that people of the state would vehemently reject it.
Recall that the immediate past administration of PDP in the state led by Samuel Ortom had on several occasions rejected similar policies by the past administration of Muhammad Buhari.
In a statement issued by Iortyom and made available to journalists in Makurdi on Monday, the party called on the state governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia to remove the state from the list.
The party explained that Benue never had a peer-to-peer basis for the inclusion of the state among the other selected states which all have large indigenous Fulani populations with substantial land holdings on which such colonies could be sited.
Parts of the statement read, “In other words, in those other states it could be natural to have such colonies where a Fulani population is already in situ and which would seamlessly be accommodated therein.
“Benue has no such indigenous Fulani population with land holdings where such a colony could be established.
“Secondly, it is unjust and ultimately insensitive to have a colony established for the Fulani with all the facilities for modern living in a state where victims of the genocidal atrocities committed by those same Fulani are still displaced from their lands and means of livelihood and living in sub-human conditions in camps which bear semblance to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during 2nd World War.
The party regretted that the promise that former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made in 2018 on behalf of the Federal Government to resettle those displaced back to their lands and also made a pledge of 10 billion to them never materialised.
“That promise by VP Osinbajo has not been fulfilled to this moment and the displaced persons in the IDP camps are still even to date being attacked and killed by Fulani herdsmen right there in the camps and dare not venture near their plundered and desolate ancestral lands to scavenge for food.