The leaders of Benue State socio-cultural groups and tribal leaders have pledged to resist any plans by the Federal Government to build houses and settlements for Fulani herdsmen in any part of the state under any guise.
The leaders hinted that the recent hasty publicity by the Federal Government of its intention to build 1,000 housing units in seven states including Benue smacked of mischief and would not be welcomed in the state.
However, a statement issued weekend and 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 leaders maintained that no part of the state would be ceded for the construction of houses and colonies that would house Fulani herders when over two million Benue indigenes displaced by armed herders still reside in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps scattered across the state.
The leaders charged the Federal Government to call off the project which it claimed was part of a broad plan to address conflicts in the northern part of the country and would have such facilities as schools, clinics, veterans and ranches for the Fulani community.
They stressed 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 of 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.