A Pan-Yoruba sociocultural group, Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), has kicked against the planned establishment of Ruga settlements in the South West zone of the country.
The group, in a communique issued and signed by its Chairman and Publicity Secretary, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu and Mr. Lanre Ogundipe respectively, after its meeting at the Ikenne home of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, on Tuesday, July 9, said it suspects that there are plans to smuggle the suspended Ruga project into the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) under the headship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. It then called for total cancellation of the rejected Ruga settlement plan as well as the NLTP.
The group which represents the interests of Yorubas, both at home and in the diaspora, deliberated on a number of national issues and arrived at the following:
- YUF opposes in its entirety, RUGA settlement in Yorubaland, calling on the Federal Government to cancel the project forthwith
- Also, the National Livestock Transformation Programme NLT, YUF suspects, is being tampered with, to accommodate its illegal transmutation to RUGA;
- Therefore, National Livestock Transformation Programme NLTP.
should consequently be abrogated;
- YUF encourages all South West Governors to establish ranches as was done in the old Western Region under the erudite leadership of Chief Obafemi Awolowo;
YUF further insists that on no account, should any Southwest governor give any land to Fulani settlers;
- YUF is opposed to the executive bill desirous of taking over ALL River boundaries;
Again, we consider it an attempt by the FG to illegally take over lands in the country;
- YUF further calls on the National Assembly to resist overtures by the FG to repeal the Land Use Act, in its morbid desire to usurp the constitutional role of state governors, particularly as relates to divesting them of the powers of land allocation, vested in them constitutionally;
- YUF also resolved that Yorubas should checkmate these aggressive herdsmen, albeit frontally, and strive to defend stoutly, the territorial integrity of Yorubaland;
- YUF then urges traditional institutions to be awake to their responsibility as chief security officers of their domains, and work hard to protect lives and properties of their subjects;
Also, in a separate statement signed by the group’s secretary, Senator Tony Adefuye, YUF said it has elected Mr. Lanre Ogundipe as its new spokesman.
Ogundipe, a former National President of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) is taking over from Dr. Kunle Olajide, the erstwhile spokesman.
His appointment was ratified and announced by the YUF Chairman, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, at the meeting held in the Ikenne home of the Awolowos.
He is a journalist with over 40 years experience and was unanimously voted at the association’s extraordinary meeting. Ogundipe is a widely travelled journalist, who once served as Deputy President, African Union of Journalists (AUJ) and President, West African Union of Journalists (WAJA).
He is also a member of the European Union of Journalists (EUJ), the famous International Press Institute (IPI) and America based Association of Black Editors (ABE).