- RUGA designed to change demography, says Fani-Kayode
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Immediate past President of Sierra Leone, Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma saturday identified bad governance as the main reason majority of youths in Nigeria and other African countries migrate to Europe.
Former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, warned that a new form of migration had been secretly instituted in the country with the plan to flood the entire south with Fulanis, using the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).
The duo spoke at the eighth Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Annual Lecture held at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State under a theme, Migration and development in Africa: Patterns, Issues and Challenges.
Koroma, who was the guest speaker, said bad governance and the concomitant effect of poverty, lack of economic opportunities, freedoms and basic social services remained underlying factors for modern economic migration.”
He, however, added that there were positive impacts of migration, both to sending and receiving countries, saying there might be negative impacts, especially for the sending countries, which tend to suffer brain drain.
Proffering solution to the negative impact of migration, Koroma said: “I have brought in my personal experience to underscore why governments and the private sector must work towards creating the pathway that gives hope to our youths.
“Those departing because of socio-economic conditions should not take long to discover that they are running away from a thriving economy. Others who flee conflict should be made to realize that they are part of the solution.”
Koroma charged leaders of Nigeria to stem the tide of unnecessary migration by fixing the country and making it enjoyable for the citizens.
He added that as a president in Sierra Leone, he ensured that the country was very peaceful, and that not one journalist or activist was unjustly detained.
Fani-Kayode, a discussant at the annual lecture, took a swipe at the country’s leaders, saying a new form of migration had been secretly instituted, which has the mandate of flooding the entire south with Fulanis, using the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).
“The things that are happening today are things we prophesied would happen. What this government is doing is an ancient order that has been packaged. They know what they are doing. It is we who do not know what they are doing.
“They have through migration also invaded our land. Fulani people have invaded every part of this country in Nigeria. They know what they are doing. They are killing and taking charge of people’s ancestral land, even before their children.”
Fani-Kayode commended leaders of the South-east for remaining calm in the face of provocation, saying save for their tolerance, the country would have long been plunged in trouble.
He however called on leaders of the zone to speak to the leaders of the country to infuse a human face into their style of leadership.
Also at the lecture, former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo said Africa needed a crop of new leaders that would realise that the future is about them and join hands to make it better.
Nwobodo identified former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi out as an example of the type of leadership African needs and exhorted him to keep on the right track with assurances that his time would come in spite seemingly setbacks that were part of the preparation for future leadership.
In his remarks, Obi said he came to listen to the words and advice of elders, which according to him, inform people like him about the crisis and solution to the problems of Africa.
He however said Africans must do more to encourage trade among themselves which he noted was poor compared to trade among peoples of the same continents the world over.