Don’t use herdsmen to start civil war – bishop


* Scrap RUGA, not just suspend it

By Regis Anukwuoji, Abakaliki

Anglican Bishop of Afikpo Diocese, Ebonyi State, Paul Udogu, has condemned  the federal government’s plan to establish Fulani herdsmen radio and alleged gift of N100Bn to Miyetti Allah.

He said that if such allegations are true it gives the impression that the herdsmen and their cows are treated as first class citizens.

He also warned against revisiting the suspended RUGA settlement for herdsmen and advised  the federal government not to reverse the suspension pointing  that revisiting it might led the nation  into serious  crisis, and possibly cause disintegration of the country.

In his presidential address during the 5th synod of Afikpo Diocese, Ebonyi State, Udogu alleged that president Muhammadu Buhrai’s government has treated herdsmen and cows as special class of people.

He condemned nefarious activities of armed herdsmen which he described as alarming and  rising  insecurity in the country. He alleged that almost all the geopolitical zones of the country are under herdsmen siege.

He therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the challenge before it becomes too late.

Udogu said; “Few days ago, we heard that the federal government has suspended RUGA . We know that when you suspend something today, you can come back to it tomorrow but we want to say without mincing words; enough of that policy. In this country, we don’t want it.

“Three days ago, a group of  people in Northern Nigeria, issued 30-days ultimatum to the federal government for them to reverse back the RUGA programme. But we are trusting God that the federal government will think twice and save this country from disintegration, war, and crisis.

“The directive to all Nigerians to surrender their guns to the police whether legally or illegally acquired is ambiguous and suspicious. Nigerians expect our security agencies to first disarm the Fulani herdsmen who are moving around with AK47 and other deadly weapons before asking innocent citizens to surrender arms . We do not advocate for illegal acquisition of arms but all over the world, people have right to self defense in case of unprovoked attacks.

“The federal government plan to establish Fulani herdsmen radio and the alleged gift of N100billion to Miyetti Allah gang gives the impression that the Fulanis are considered and treated as a special class while others are second class citizens. One wonders why such radio station was not established for IPOB members or for Niger Delta militants”.

The Bishop called on the National Assembly to consider the recommendations of 2014 National Conference and to revisit issues of restructuring the nation as way of ensuring justice and equity to various zones in the country.