Apex Yoruba and Igbo socio-cultural organisations, Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo respectively have rejected a call from the Chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Walid Jibrin to support the federal government Ruga settlement programme.
Reacting to the comments by Jibrin, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said the BOT chairman showed his allegiance to his Fulani ethnic group rather than to his party or nation.
He said, “It is very clear that the PDP, APC or whatever nomenclature you call it does not mean anything to the ethnic agenda. So, it is not a matter of the PDP or APC. It is an internal colonialist agenda and anybody that subscribes to that agenda based on ethnic affiliation does not care about his party. What the PDP BOT chair has shown is that when it is between his ethnic affiliation, the party and the nation, he will take sides with his ethnic region.”
On his part, National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-okpaga said the South East has not said the programme is not good but maintained that the region does not have land for it.
“If they can pipe oil from the South to the North, they can as well pipe water from the South to the North” he said.
Jibrin,a leader of the Fulani in Nasarawa state, had on Tuesday while addressing journalists in his Nasarawa country home urged the Yorubas and IgboS to support the programme.
He said, “I am not in APC, I am a PDP chieftain. But when we talk of development and security, we should leave anything about politics, religion and tribe.
“Whoever is ruling in Nigeria, if he brings any programme that will do away with insecurity, killings and will take care of the welfare of the people, I will go by that. My politics is not a do or die and I play politics without bitterness.
“That is why I am and we Fulani commend the Federal Government for introducing the RUGA project in the country.
“I and our tribe (Fulani) had embraced the programme. RUGA project includes the provision of hospitals, schools, water supply and electricity, among other facilities, which will have a direct bearing on the lives of the herders.
“Apart from that, it will also tackle incessant farmers/herdsmen conflicts as well as boost food security in the country,” he said.
He added, “So, I am calling on the southerners, the Igbos, the Yorubas, among others, to embrace it, even though the project is not compulsory.
“The project will keep the herdsmen one, safe and will improve on their welfare as some states in the South East have already promised to donate land for the project.”