Fulani Colony: Tension As Benue Tribal leader Vow To Resist Move by FG


Leader of Benue state socio-cultural groups, and tribal leaders Iorbee Ihagh, has vowed to resist plan by the federal Government to establish a Fulani Colony in their state describing it as tactical land grabbing in favour of Fulani herdsmen. The leaders faulted the knee-jerk announcement by the Federal Government of its plan to build about 1,000 housing units in favour of Fulani in seven states including Benue was an act of mischief and would be resisted in the state.

In a statement released over the weekend to newsmen and was signed by the President General of Mzough U Tiv, MUT, (Worldwide) Iorbee Ihagh and the President General of Ochetoha k’Idoma, OKI, AVM Toni Adokwu(retd), the two leaders maintained that no part of their state would be ceded for the construction of houses and colonies that would house Fulani herders when same people have directly displaced over two million Benue indigenes through armed herders banditry whom still residing in scattered Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps across the state. 

The duo called on the federal government to call off the project as it would not be allowed in Benue state to watch their claimed villain to be given a preferential treatment against its victims. 

They reiterated that “one would have thought that the construction of such a facility in Benue State will go through a process that would have the inputs of all stakeholders, particularly, the State Government, but the hasty manner with which the project was planned and subsequently approved, smacks a mischief. 

“The signal we are getting is that the idea may have been conceived, hatched, packaged and handed over to the present administration for implementation; or how would one explain the hasty manner in which the project scaled through all the hurdles and even billed for implementation, without the State Government getting a whiff of the idea from its conception? 

“But, be that as it may, one would have expected that the Federal Government should have settled the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the State before thinking of bringing in outsiders, nay, foreigners and creating a haven for them within the state. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, Benue State has over two million IDPs that have been neglected by the government to perish in various IDP camps across the State, the statement added. 

“The first thing one would have expected was for the Federal Government to work towards ensuring that displaced persons that have been abandoned in IDP camps across the state are returned to their ancestral homes, before contemplating the construction of houses for their antagonists, the Fulani armed herdsmen. 

“The ethnic groups in the state have resolved to file behind the State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, not to cede any portion of the State to anyone; not even the Federal Government for the purpose of building settlements for our oppressors. 

“Plans to ensure that colonies must be constructed in Benue State has become a recurring decimal, and we view the insistence of the Federal Government to establish Colonies in the State, under whatever name is an agenda that must be resisted by the Benue people, with the support of all. 

“Without mincing words, we want to tell President Bola Tinubu that he should call off the project, direct the relevant agencies of government to without delay commence a resettlement and rehabilitation process for IDPs in the state to return to their ancestral homes and further ensure that the IDPs are assisted to live normal lives before contemplating to embark on such a project.” 

The leaders drew the attention of President Tinubu to the situation in Moon Council Ward of Kwande LGA, armed herdsmen sacked all the locals and took over their homes with impunity. 

They called on the Federal Government to also as a matter of mutual respect to the matter as well as embrace the Benue State ranching law in order to pave way for peaceful coexistence between farmers and herdsmen in the state.