Tiv Youths Organisation, TYO, has called on the National Assembly to stop further proceedings on the Water Resources Bill now, declaring that it will never stand.
The youths further warned sponsors of the Bill to desist from toying with the peace and unity of the country, adding that Nigeria belongs to all of us and no group should be allowed to ride over others.
The TYO said that ever since Muhammadu Buhari became the President of Nigeria in 2015, he has not hidden his agenda of Fulani hegemony and occupation.
The Youths organisation said at a world press conference delivered by its President, Timothy Hembaor.
According to the TYO, Miyetti Allah, the Fulani socio-cultural group, have now moved from trying to grab land through pretences by a proxy to grabbing waterways across the country to the exclusive preserve of the current administration.
TYO noted that such plot will never be accomplished in Benue because the State has always been ahead of the plotters, insisting that water flows on land which belongs to the various people and communities that it flows through.
Continuing, the youths added, “Ethiopia has just activated the biggest dam in Africa on the section of the Nile which flows through its territory to the chagrin of Egypt and Sudan because that part of the Nile belongs to Ethiopia.
“In my backwoods, every portion of the stream that flows through the countryside has an ownership that is respected by the community. Even fish ponds are owned and no one would just come fishing. You will be chased away and the fish confiscated.
“And these waterways are a blessing from God to these communities and the survival of these communities depend on the management of these rivers.
“How can any responsible government rationalise the conversion of water to the exclusive preserve of the federal government just so that Fulani herdsmen would have unfettered access to green grass and foliage across the country.
“Does this government ponder on why the Fulani have become a scourge to communities in Nigeria. It was not so not too long ago. Our land and grass have not changed; it is the Fulani that have changed in their approach to the various communities that host them: they come with a Conquistador attitude, to plunder and kill so that their cows and flock can eat, not only grass but farm crops.
“There was a time Fulani were friendly to the extent that amorous relationships flowered and the exchange of meat and milk were the defining ethos of relationships.
“Now, people shudder when they see Fulani and these are the people the federal government wants to enshrine on our rivers and waterways. It is a death sentence, cheaper, poison being cheaper than guns.
“There are times when the rivers dry and communities rely on ponds and wells and these killers have shown that there is no limitation to their protocol of violence.
“This is why they have given notice that they would make Benue state ungovernable. This calls for various communities to be proactive in security awareness.
“Something must be done before the intervention of security forces. And for once, the Arewa establishment has condemned MIYETTI ALLAH and the Middle Belt and South Belt Fora have given a robust kick against the Bill already passed by the House of Representatives giving fillip to the federal government to take over our waterways. The Senate must dismiss this Bill like it was thrown out in 2018.
“And we have a propensity to politicise things that are nonpartisan. We must know that this Bill is not an APC initiative but a MIYETTI ALLAH strategy to warm itself into the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
“Luckily, rivers and our waterways are not exclusive preserves of any party or even any community. We share them across borders and their common defences will benefit all.
“Let the waters be used as each community has been doing forever, but certainly not to be leased to an itinerant horde of pastoralists that do not value nature. The biggest herds of cows in the world do not cross borders looking for pasture.
“They are on farms established for the purpose of raising their offsprings and communities to fit into the larger demands of social equilibrium.
How long will the Fulani wander with their cows, with tsetse flies and possibly coronavirus in tow?
“Ever since Muhammadu Buhari became the President of Nigeria in 2015, he has not hidden his agenda of Fulani hegemony and occupation.
“His people, having read his body language clearly have adopted a boisterous and arrogant attitude to everything. All sensitive and plum positions have been taken over by the Fulani up to the armed forces.
“This is why Buhari cannot change the service chiefs who have served beyond their service years while some are grossly incompetent. This is why herdsmen graze up to people’s doorsteps and kill anyone who dares to complain. They carry and brandish the most sophisticated machine guns and there is nobody to challenge them.
“They do not respect borders and have visited mayhem all over the country. They kidnapped Chief Olu Falae, a distinguished Nigerian and nearly killed him and that was in the Southwest. It is because of the Fulani menace that the region has established Amotekun, a vigilante group for the six states in the region. It is because of the Fulani pestilence that the Southeastern states have formed various vigilante groups to protect themselves and their farms.
“To ensure unfettered access to land in Nigeria for Fulani of the whole world, Buhari’s government introduced RUGA, a policy meant to legalise land seizure; but the country rose in unison against it. Again, Benue raised the first alarm. The Buhari government reluctantly abandoned Ruga and has now come through the back door with a bill to grab waterways for cows.
“The same merchants of violence recently started what they call Miyetti Allah Vigilante group which they claim has been embedded in Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN and is already present in the 36 states of the country.
“We vehemently reject the Miyetti Allah Vigilante. No social-cultural association has constitutional authority to operate a security group in all parts of Nigeria. The nation’s security agencies should arrest Miyetti Allah officials now before they set the country on the path of unrest and bloody crisis.
“The only thing to do is for the whole country to rise and resist the National Water Resources Bill about to be passed by the 9th Assembly! If Nigerians allow that bill to become law, the future of generations yet unborn in this country will be mortgaged! Our children will become permanent slaves to Fulani jihadists in their own land!
“We are farmers in this country and our ancestry has been defined by our access to water which is our commonwealth. Those in the desert cannot just migrate to come and take over our land.
“They are used to their desert countryside and they can improve on their land to make it compatible with their cows and lives. Let us protect ourselves from a land grabbing people who have chosen to use political power to impose lawlessness on our country.
“While power is transient, our land and waterways are God-given assets that have made us to be who and what we are. These environmental factors have given us cultures that are definitive on how we look at the world and nothing can take that from us by the grace of the living God we worship.
“We call on the National Assembly to stop further proceedings on the Water Resources Bill now and warn its sponsors to desist from toying with the peace and unity of the country! Nigeria belongs to all of us and no group should be allowed to ride over others!”