The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the government of Benue State are at odds over the purported construction of a Fulani colony in the state.
This comes after Vice President Kashim Shetima declared intentions to build 1,000 houses for the Fulani population in many states, including Benue.
Bemgba Iortyom, the state PDP’s Publicity Secretary, had termed the projected establishment of Fulani colonies as a subject of “deathly serious nature.”
They have declared that the idea will be strongly rejected by the people of Benue State.
Remember that the previous administration in Benue State, led by Samuel Ortom, had previously rejected similar federal government measures.
The PDP called on the state governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, to have Benue State removed from the list of states designated for these colonies in a statement released by Iortyom and shared with press in Makurdi.
The party maintained that, unlike other selected states with significant indigenous Fulani populations and property holdings, Benue State lacks a peer-to-peer foundation for admission. Because of the existing Fulani communities in these other states, such colonies may be conceivable.
“Benue has no indigenous Fulani population with land holdings where such a colony could be established,” he stated.
“Secondly, it is unjust and ultimately insensitive to establish a colony 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 camps that resemble Nazi Germany’s concentration camps during World War II.”
In response, Governor Hyacinth Alia disputed that the state administration had agreed to the federal government’s plans to establish a Fulani colony in the state.
Governor Alia stated in a statement sent by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Tersoo Kulas, that the report lacked substance.
“Our attention is drawn to a story making headlines on social media that Governor Hyacinth Alia, has included Benue in the list of states to receive Fulani colonies,” Kula stated in the statement.
“This story is false and should be ignored.”
“It is Governor Hyacinth Alia’s and the current administration’s burning desire to return Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes as soon as possible.”
“However, since most of their houses have been destroyed by gun-wielding marauding herders, the federal government of Nigeria, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has agreed to sponsor the reconstruction of new homes for our Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),” Kula continued.