The Arewa Defenders Forum (ADF), has called on the federal government to re-introduce the suspended rural grazing area (Ruga) as a critical measure to address insecurity in the North.
The group also cautioned the trio of President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, former Aviation Minister, Fani Kayode and a former Senator, Shehu Sani, over their respective statements on the Ruga issue lately.
The President of the group, Nuruddeen Alkasim, in a statement after an emergency meeting in Kaduna on Sunday, raised concerns over alleged “Islamization and Fulanization” of the country because of a Ruga proposal adding that, the suspended programme was designed to bring an end to suspicious killings using the name of Fulanis and their Northern identityfor political convenience.
To this group, unless something was done about persons or groups opposed to ending the killings in the North, “it presupposes that there are hidden interests that are against a viable solution to the region’s multiplesecurity and other challenges and this could all be deliberately planned dangerous schemes by a section of our elites who might have drafted Nwodos and Fani Kayodes and inconsequential opportunists like Shehu Sanis of thisworld as their foot-soldiers.
According to the group, “Nwodo has only succeeded in exposing himself as one of those Southeast elites who do not want an end to the massive killing in the North by people masquerading as herdsmen, in an ochestrated agenda to kill agriculture, threaten food security of the region, its safety and generally run down the Northern economy.
“We support the Coalition of Northern Youth Groups’ stand on the need to have the Ruga settlements in order to reduce the mobility of cattle breeders, sothat the terrorists sponsored to destabilize the North would finally be exposed for who they really are.”
The group also took exception to the call by the Ohanaeze leader, that all Igbos should “be ready to defend themselves”, adding that “by this the Ohanaezeleader has made a call for resort to arms.”
Alkasim then urged the federal government to “keep an eye on some Southern elites opposed to ending the killings in the North and investigate if they have no links to circulation of the arms used in killings and razing of villages.
“Finally, we are now giving a final warning to the Ohanaeze leader and his collaborators, notably Fani Kayode, to end their politically-motivated campaigns and allow the federal government proceed with its agenda forpeace through the proposed Ruga policy.”