From Olatunji Elisha, Lokoja
Foremost student leader in Kogi State, Comrade Ajagun Opeyemi Samuel has warned the Kogi State Government from acceding to the establishment of ‘Ruga Settlement’ in Okun land and Kogi state in general.
Ajagun hinted that such policy will further pave way for the Fulani herdsmen to continually victimize and maim residents of the communities.
While speaking with newsmen in Lokoja on Wednesday, Ajagun warned that the lives and properties of the citizens must be protected.
“Diverse opinions have emerged through debates and social media in the past few weeks on Ruga Settlement – a Federal government initiative aimed at establishing rural grazing areas in each state.
“Some states in the North welcomed the idea while some others in the South West totally rejected it. The Ekiti State Governor earlier announced that the State will not partake in the programme, likewise his counterpart in Ondo State.
“Okun land has been known as a safe haven until the sudden attacks from these herdsmen began. Cases of kidnap, rape and murder have been on the rise in Okun land. Farmers can no longer farm in peace, travelers are being kidnapped and maimed. This ugly trend keeps repeating itself daily.
“This warning wouldn’t have been necessary in the first place if the Governor shares the pains of the people. We the people of Kogi West need to remind the state government of its limits concerning federal policies it imposes on people.
“The Federal Government hasn’t for any time sent a bill of such to the National Assembly, why then should Kogi State be trying to buy the people through the State Assembly?
“We wish to state categorically that, nobody in Kogi West is ready to sell the people’s conscience. We jointly say no to RUGA.
“Kogi West has a vast land. Yes. Our major occupation is farming. As vast as our land is, it is not even enough to cultivate. We can’t just imagine a future where cows are more in population than humans. Presently, these Fulanis have been knocking on our doors at Yagba, Ijumu and other towns.
“Recently, the People of Kogi East, precisely the Igala Nation have written to reject the Federal Government suspended grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen.
“We hereby call on Mr. Governor to listen to the people and shelve his plan of accepting RUGA in our dear land.
“We also call on Mr. Governor to beef up security and make sure Kogi is a safe place. Kogi West has had enough of all these evil acts perpetrated by these herders.
“We hope to see a better and safer Kogi state where we can travel home without fear, where farmers can cultivate for farm produce, where we can raise our future generation without fear,” he said.