Posted by News Express | 22 October 2019 | 972 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to clarify the story making the rounds that the rejected settlements scheme for Fulani herdsmen known, as RUGA, has started being implemented by other means.
HURIWA also dismissed as insufficient what it called the ridiculous explanation by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state that RUGA has not commenced in Ebonyi State even when video recordings are trending to show the suspicious state-sponsored forceful relocation of Fulani-speaking persons into a community in Ebonyi State under the guise that they bought lands to resettle.
The rights group said the embargo on criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari unilaterally imposed by the Ebonyi State Governor on his people banning them from doing so makes him an interested party who has lost the independence to speak for the South East of Nigeria.
HURIWA faulted the heavy security that escorted the new Fulani settlers in Ebonyi State as shown by the video and confirmed by eye witnesses because freedom of movement of all Nigerians guaranteed did not specify that Nigerians from other ethno-religious affiliations could be resettled in other parts of Nigeria even in such suspicious circumstances.
It noted that there would have been no need to raise objections over the movements of citizens which is their constitutional right but the fact that heavy security forces escorted them into a strange community shows the elements of doubts and points to the conspiracy theory that RUGA may have started from the backdoors.
The rights group has also tasked Nigerians to demand answers from the United Nations if it has allowed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to use the influential positions of Fulani-born Mrs. Amina Mohammed and Tijani Mohammed Bande the President of United Nations General Assembly to now deploy one of the agencies of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to undertake the RUGA programme to avoid detection by Nigerians who rejected it.
HURIWA stated that it was alarmed that the Nigerian office of the UNDP has just advertised jobs that it plans to carry out within Nigeria which bears suspucious semblance to the much disputed RUGA programme.
“There is the immediate need for clarity because the UNDP’s advertised job which is for Benue state has no difference with what we were initially told would make up the RUGA programme just before majority of Nigerians, including the Benue State Government, rejected it forcing the Federal government to suspend its implementation.
“The advert published on the website (https://www.justjobsng.com/ 2019/10/national-consultant-for-land-clearing-at-united- nations-development-programme-undp) says the UNDP helps developing countries attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights, capacity development and the empowerment of women; National Consultant for Land Clearing; Post Level: National Consultant; Type of Contract: Individual Contract; Expected Duration of Assignment: 10 Days; Duration of Initial Contract: 10 Days per Location; Starting Date: (Date when the selected candidate is expected to start)21-Oct-2019.
“The background of the job says ‘the implementation of this pilot project will specifically achieve the following objectives; to reduce the vulnerability of affected persons through community-based protection by enhancing ability of affected communities to identify and mitigate risks and threats while ensuring that there is no interruption in livelihoods and productive activities’.”
Besides, HURIWA noted that the UNDO offered further backgrounds to the programme as follows: Livelihood and empowerment of community members in intensive production of pasture, management of fodder bank and provide training on pasture management for community members, particularly youth and women.
The animal husbandry, nutrition value addition and linkages to markets will also empower the cattle breeders just as conflict prevention and peace building by establishing a state peace architecture was mentioned as local peace committees in conflict affected LGAs to foster dialogue and non-violent resolution of disputes.
HURIWA also stated that national and regional mobilisation on the promotion of human security at national and sub-regional levels was listed as the background.
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