REVEALED: Gov Alia Included Benue in the list of states to get Fulani colonies
By Jonas Longyem, Abuja
Dependable resources have revealed that the Benue state governor, Fr. Hyacinth Alia is the one who insisted that his state should be included in the list of states to “benefit” from the N50 billion naira that Federal Government has set aside for the construction of houses as settlements for Fulani pastoralists in some states of the federation.
Before Alia’s request for the inclusion of Benue state, the projects were to be carried out in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger. The inclusion of Benue means that in the next few months, some parts of the state will be officially carved out for the establishment of Fulani settlements as well as grazing areas for their animals.
According to Vice President Kashim Shettima who announced this yesterday, the benefitting states with get “all the ancillary facilities of schools, clinics, veterinary clinics, and ranches for the Fulani communities”.
For those who followed Gov. Alia’s campaigns before the 2023 election, he repeatedly promised to facilitate what he called “reconciliation, integration and reconciliation” between his people and Fulanis by ensuring that the Fulanis return to Benue state and get access to lands where they will settle and carry out their cattle grazing business.
Reports from Benue State indicated that Fr. Alia was often heard blaming the attacks in some parts of the state on the youths whom he pledged to “take them out of the bush” and make them to stop killing people. Many Benue people had frowned at Alia’s accusation of his people as killers and his exoneration of Fulani herders as those responsible for the attacks on Benue people.
The latest events regarding the approval of the construction of settlements for Fulani herders and governor Alia’s alleged role in inclusion of Benue in the list of states to benefit will certainly cause ripples and anger among people of the state.
Some analysts have been accusing the governor of abandoning the over 2 million people who are displaced with many living IDP camps in parts of the state. He promised during campaigns that he would return the IDPs to their ancestral homes in his first 100 days in office, but it has turned out to be a failed promise, according to reports monitored from Makurdi.
Others have criticized Governor Alia for making many promises but achieving very little within his first 100 days in office. One of the criticisms is on his aggression towards the opposition. The case of a social media activist in the state Paul Gyengar who is still in detention on the orders of governor Alia is one of the issues making negative headlines against the governor in the last one month.