MIDWEST MOVEMENT PRESS STATEMENT ON RUGA
The Midwest Movement (of the indigenous peoples of Edo and Delta States) hereby calls on the law enforcement agencies to IMMEDIATELY arrest and prosecute one MR ABDUL AZEEZ SULIMAN, the purported spokesperson of a so-called COALITION OF NORTHERN GROUPS, and his collaborators who has threatened to harass and expel Southerners from the North of the country following the Federal Government’s suspension of the obnoxious and unlawful RUGA settlements programme. Mr Abdul Azeez Suliman’s unwarranted statement, which was released via an online video on Wednesday 3rd July 2019 and broadcast on several news outlets, is a serious threat to the lives of our peoples, as well as an attack on the peace of the nation as a whole. It is not only reckless, provocative and utterly contemptible, it is also a criminal act of sedition that MUST be promptly prosecuted in order to guarantee the fragile peace of the country.
We therefore remind the Federal Government of its sacred responsibility to protect the lives of all citizens, irrespective of State of Origin and/or ethnic nationality. Failure to do so will be grossly irresponsible and a needless, yet avoidable descent to anarchy! It is incumbent on the Federal Government and its security agencies to act swiftly and decisively against Mr Abdul Azeez Suliman and the amorphous seditious group he claims to represent. Any delay or failure to do so by the Federal Government and the law enforcement agencies will amount to gross negligence and will expose the government to accusations of aiding and abetting a grand conspiracy against the lives and properties of innocent Nigerian citizens, particularly from a section of the country.
We of the Midwest Region of Delta and Edo States, wish to restate our total rejection of the ill-fated and obnoxious RUGA programme; which is nothing but a veiled desperate and unconstitutional plan to aggregate the lands of indigenous peoples all over the country and transfer them to Fulani herdsmen who have been terrorizing many parts of the country, particularly within the last four years. The Federal Government MUST discard and abrogate the ill-fated RUGA Settlement Initiative in its entirety. In whatever guise this plot is presented in future (whether as RUGA or under any other name or form), we of the Midwest Movement and our peoples in Edo and Delta States will continue to resolutely resist it in every lawful way and with every resource available to us TO THE VERY END. We wish to make it clear that no amount of threat from any quarter will deter us in this regard.
From events of our most recent past, it is clear that Nigeria sits atop a time bomb that may erupt at the slightest prodding. Consequently, we wish to remind the Federal Government, and the good people of Nigeria, of the urgent need for genuine and robust negotiations towards restructuring Nigeria’s skewed and fragile union, in line with the spirit of true federalism, and along the lines of the 1963 Republican Constitution. This is the ONLY WAY to rescue the country from the brink of chaos and collapse.
God bless the Midwest Peoples of Edo & Delta States. God bless Nigeria.
Don Pedro Obaseki, MBA, PhD
(for and on behalf of Members & Management of the MIDWEST MOVEMENT)
Friday 5th July 2019.