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Don’t Dare It — Group Warns Governor Mbah Over Planned Establishment of Ranches in Nimbo, Other Enugu Communities



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Alphonsus Nweze, Onitsha

Members of the Nsukka Platform, in Asaba, Delta State, have vehemently rejected the plan by the Enugu State Government to establish ranches in Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area and other communities in the State.

The group, made up Enugu State indigenes, declared this outright rejection of the plan in its meeting held over the weekend, where they also condemned, in its entirety, the move by the Enugu State Government to set up ranches in Nimbo, Ikem-Nike and other communities in Isi Uzo Local Government Area, as well as Ugwuoba in Oji River Local Government Area of the State.

Recall that the Governor Peter Mbah-led Enugu State Government had told the chairmen of the above-mentioned local government areas and other affected local governments to inform the local leadership of the communities of the planned establishment of ranches in the respective communities.

This move, which has received widespread rejection from the people of the respective communities, has also sparked off immediate protest and condemnation both from people and groups within and outside the communities, including the apex Igbo sociocultural group, the Ohaneze Ndigbo.

Declaring their stand against the move, the Nsukka Platform, in a statement signed by the Chairman, Dr. Leonard Abonyi and the Secretary, Ejiofor Asogwa, and made available to newsmen over the weekend, said it was “unfortunate that a Governor of Southeast extraction would think that the best thing to do for his people is to set up ranches in the State for the Fulanis who are known for their notorious and mindless killings, kidnappings, land grabbing and expansionism in various parts of the country.”

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They recalled that the Fulani Herdsmen had unleashed terror and mayhem on the people of Nimbo few years back, killing and maiming scores of the indigenes and setting their houses ablaze

Nsukka Platform also regretted that, till this moment, neither the federal nor the state government has done anything to compensate for the loss of lives, injury and other incalculable damages inflicted on the people of the community, neither had the perpetrators been arrested nor arraigned.

“We don’t want such maiming and killings again in our communities,” they warned.

They further recalled what they described as the various negative activities of Fulani Herdsmen and their clashes with farmers in other parts of the country, including Plateau, Benue, Kwara, Adamawa and Kaduna States, among others, where, they said, thousands of people were sent to their early graves with several others left homeless and severely injured.

“We want to state without equivocation that ranching is nothing but RUGA in disguise, which the past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had tried to foist on the people of Nigeria in his ill-fated eight years rule which was roundly rejected by Nigerians,” the statement partly reads.

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The group, in the statement, also wondered what would be the economic benefits of ranching for the communities in Enugu State, that Governor Mba would want to smuggle it through the backdoor, if not for bloodletting, oppression and subjection of the people into slavery in their own land.

According to them, what the Nimbo people and other communities in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area need now is the revival and resuscitation of the moribund Ada Rice Farm which has the capacity to cater for the rice need of the entire South East and beyond; as well as giving attention to University of Agriculture; rather than RUGA, in the name of ranching.

“Nsukka Platform joins other patriotic groups to reject ranching in Nimbo, Ikem Nkwo or any other community in the State in whatever disguise because of its capacity to cause unrest, mayhem, and bloodbath in the areas concerned now and in future. We say no to RUGA in whatever disguise,” the statement concludes.

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