The Midwest Movement, an Edo/Delta group, has called on the Nigerian Government to stop its planned establishments of Ruga settlements for herdsmen in its region.
The group in a statement on Wednesday said although they were not against the Nigerian government providing for the needs of the herdsmen, the plan should be implemented in areas and lands that belong to the herdsmen.
Last Tuesday, the federal government had said that in the next five years, the establishment of Ruga settlements would bring an end to the menace of open grazing by herdsmen, thereby, putting an end to herdsmen-farmers clashes in the country.
The plan by the government, however, was not well-received as all five South-east state governors, as well as governors Samuel Ortom of Benue, Darius Ishaku of Taraba and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo rejected the settlements.
The group said: “The Midwest Movement totally and unequivocally rejects this brazen 21st century colonisation in its entirety.
“We call on the federal government to immediately rescind its planned veiled colonisation of our peoples while enjoining the governments of our home-states of Edo and Delta to reject same in clear and unequivocal terms.
“While not opposing the desire of the Federal Government to settle nomadic herdsmen (and any other such groups whatsoever), these should be done in areas and land that are native to such groups.
“The planned aggregation in whatever guise, of the lands of the 12 ethnic nationalities of the Midwest Region of Nigeria, without recourse to consultations with the traditional and bona fide owners, is akin to an invasion.”