By James Shim
The ArchBishop, All Nations Evangelism Ministry, Dr Yimam Orkwar has slammed the Federal Government over plans to build housing units for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Benue State.
ArchBishop Orkwar expressed doubts that such action would be to recreate Ruga settlements that were rejected by Nigerians through the back door.
He made this position known during the All Nations Evangelism Ministry’s Fresh Oil International Convention held at the IBB Square, Makurdi.
Dr Orkwar who berated the idea, declared emphatically that Benue people do not need homes that will incorporate the Fulani as they do not share any close affinity.
“We do not need houses that will incorporate the Fulani because it is forcing neighbours on us that God has separated before. The Fulani are not our neighbours.
“Or are you saying God is not Wise enough to have created Fulani in the far north and us in the middle belt? He asked.
“We know our neighbours, they are farmers and fishermen”, Orkwar added.
He was however reserved on the state government’s idea of cluster settlement patterns, saying the idea was good depending on how it would be implemented.
According to him, “the cluster settlement has issues that must be addressed, and not just building houses”.
The ArchBishop wondered what plans are to safe guard the lands that may be left uninhabited but which rightly belong to the people.
He said such move can only be accepted if the government makes it possible for the people to be living in those houses and farming on their lands.
The ArchBishop, however, supported the call for the creation of Benue Valley Development Commission explaining that for the past years, particularly the 8 years of Buhari led administration, the Fulani destroyed the entire Benue Valley and that it behoves on the federal government to rebuild the area
He restated ANEM’s stand against Muslim/ Muslim ticket, saying the seeming silence on the issue was a matter of divine approach.
The ArchBishop while delivering his Keynote address said as a church built on the foundation of faith, ANEM has grown with six functional regions- Benue, Taraba, Katsina -Ala, Niger, Nasarawa and Gboko among other achievements while it was battling with challenges of mobility for Evangelism, development of permanent site of their Christian Faith Bible College, establishment of a Nursery/ Primary School, landed properties for various purposes, and finances and appealed for assistance.
Also present at the convention was the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria,CAN, Most Rev Bishop Chikpa Anagbe who was represented by Rev Terwase Ugbede and the Vice Chancellor Benue State University,BSU, Professor Joe Iorapuu, represented by Dr Ezekiel Hanior.