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The Southern region of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised residents in the region to exercise caution despite the suspension of the controversial Ruga settlement for Fulani herdsmen.

As ThisDay reports, this note of warning was contained in a press statement issued by Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, Secretary of CAN, in the 17 Southern States.

Warning that the suspension of the programme by President Muhammadu Buhari may not have actually ended, Ajujungwa insists that there was every indication, “though it is claimed that it has been suspended, the underground work is still going on.”

He called on every southerner “to be watchful,” stressing that “even as we pray, we don’t need to keep quiet; they are experts in underground work.”

He added that “we do not have land to give to anybody as a grazing field or colony and we call on the South-east governors to maintain their stand that they do not have such a place. Do you know what it means to give 10 hectares of land to herdsmen? We say no to that.

“As CAN, we will preach it from our pulpit, every Imam should peach from the mosque and the traditionalists should stand against it; nobody should relent; no land should be given; any traditional ruler that does that should be dethroned.

“In the north, we have largest hectares of land, very vast that nobody is occupying.”

“Why are they not building the ranches, Ruga of whatever there? They can come here, take grass and go, and we buy cow in exchange, just like the governors said. We do not have such mass land required.”

“We are also calling on the federal government to be mindful of what they are doing because cattle rearing is a private farming business. Why should the government support individual cattle farmers against other farmers?”

Reacting to the threat and ultimatum issued by a coalition of Northern Youths, Ajujungwa said “they should understand that nobody has the monopoly of violence. As they are planning to attack, others are planning to defend themselves and we cannot run away for them.

“CAN is calling on all Christians, all law-abiding citizens of the Southern Nigeria to please watch and pray. Watch means that you must open your eyes to see what is going on and therefore pray; do not relent.

“Anybody that is coming to buy land now, in the name of business, factory, and what have you, let us be cautious in dealing with the person, because their plot is to turn such into colony.”

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