The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has rejected the plan by the Federal Government to establish settlements for Fulani herdsmen in states across the country.
Dr Alfred Mulade, National Secretary, PANDEF, made this known in a statement signed and made available to journalists on Thursday on behalf of the socio-cultural group.
He said PANDEF viewed the idea as a recipe for further crisis and insecurity across the nation rather than curb the current heinous activities of herdsmen in the country.
“Without any equivocation, PANDEF strongly condemns the programme and hereby states that there is no land anywhere in the Niger Delta Region for the establishment of such settlements for herdsmen.
“It is quite disturbing that in a democracy, the Federal Government would unilaterally decide the establishment of Ruga settlements or cattle colonies.
“It is necessary to note that the Land Use Act, enacted in 1978 to regulate land tenure and administration systems, and to ensure effective and equitable utilization of land and land resources in the country, vests all urban land within a state in the state governor, and all non-urban land in the local governments in which they are found.
“This disrespect to the Rule of Law with impunity and authoritarianism neither fits into the practice of Democracy nor supports Mr President’s recent recommendation of True Federalism for Nigeria.
“In fact, along with the re-submission of the Inland Waterways Bill and the approval of a Radio frequency for the establishment of Radio stations for herdsmen by the Federal Government, there is only one inescapable conclusion, and that is, Nigeria is towing a catastrophic destiny,” he enthused.
PANDEF urged governors of the Niger Delta states to collectively speak out and reject the programme, saying “it is capable of undermining the prevailing relative peace and security in the region.”
While describing those behind the idea as enemies of the country, given the current precarious security situation, the group called on the Federal Government to perish the plan or it will vehemently resist its execution across the Niger Delta region.