Respected South West leaders, Ooni of Ife and Wole Soyinka have both reacted to the 30-day ultimatum given to the President by the Coalition of Northern Groups to implement the RUGA Settlement.
The duo released a communique yesterday following a meeting they had at Wole Soyinka’s house in Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State last week Thursday. The meeting centered on the state of the nation and the entitlement of the Coalition of Northern Groups to other tribes’ land.
Oba Ogunwusi and Soyinka, in the communiqué, called on Nigerians to defend themselves and their ancestral lands. They shared this communique as the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum raised the alarm that the Federal Government wanted to repeal the Land Use Act, which conferred the power to control lands in states on governors.
The communique read:
“In this regard, the recent ultimatum delivered by a sectarian order to the President of this nation to set up the so-called Ruga cattle settlements across the entire nation within a stipulated time, despite the national outcry, should be acknowledged as an entitlement under the bounty of freedom of expression.
“In return, we exercise ours and call upon Nigerian nationals across state demarcations to defend the sanctity of their ancestral lands. This birthright has never been annulled, not even under colonial occupation.
“Among such issues of urgent import are the ongoing insurrectional movements that derive from religious fanaticism and intolerance, exemplified by Boko Haram and allied tendencies, as well as aspects of commercial enterprise.
“In which some groups consider themselves especially privileged, singular, and above the laws and entitlements that are binding on other sectors of the commercial and industrial undertaking. We have in mind destructive forms of social transactions that characterise groups such as nomadic cattle herdsmen, and their umbrella groupings in the nature of Myetti Allah.
“We confess ourselves increasingly distressed and appalled, that the hitherto harmonious cohabitation, even routine collaboration, among the productive arms of society that Nigerians have taken for granted even from pre-colonial times, have deteriorated to unprecedented levels of barbarity, contempt for human lives and a defiant trampling on the civic entitlements of other productive sectors such as farmers, the providers of both food and cash crops.
“This abhorrent, yet consistent pattern of sectarian, and homicidal arrogance is obviously not merely counter-productive but inhuman, criminal and divisive.
“We consider it a primary imperative of national existence that the constitutive parts of the nation take steps to preserve and enhance their distinct cultural identities, including tested and relevant pre-colonial values, their spiritual apprehension of phenomena and worship, all without detriment to the principles and ideals of mutual co-existence.
“To this end, we undertake to create state-of-the-art ethnic museums for our people both at home and in the Diaspora, where present and future generations can access their histories and cultures vividly, as living expressions of their very humanity, not simply as relics of eras vanished forever or irrelevant to the present.”
The report is an outcry against the plans for RUGA Settlement and how it infringes on the right of other Nigerians who are not Northerners. It is clear that the Southern leaders are not going to stand for the RUGA settlement and a storm could very well be brewing.
As always, your opinions are important, what do you think about this communique? Do you agree that we must defend our ancestral lands or do you think we should just make our peace with the RUGA settlement? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below.
Ⓒ Copyright NET News Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Please use sharing tools. Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent.