The United States Embassy has reacted to the issue of RUGA settlement, which has generated both acceptance and objections across the country, saying Nigeria has the capacity to pull through hard times if ethnic differences are out aside.
This was disclosed by the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, on Monday, saying that the United States was worried by the tension which the Federal Government’s introduction of Ruga settlements for herdsmen had created in some states.
According to a statement by the media office of Gani Adams, the US Embassy officials in Lagos who visited him in his Lagos residence expressed worry about the planned policy.
The statement stated that the US Political Officer, Shashank Iyer, and Political Specialist, Arnold Abulime, expressed their concern about the issue when they visited Adams to seek his views on the security situation in Nigeria.
Some of those present at the meeting were former Minister of Defence, Dupe Adelaja; Dr Akin Sonaiya; former Political Adviser to the President, Akin Osuntokun; Publicity Secretary of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Yinka Oguntimehin.
The statement quoted the US envoys as saying that they knew Nigerians had the capacity to pull through hard times but stated that ethnic issues could put them asunder.
The statement read, “The US was concerned about the tension in the country, especially now with the introduction of Ruga. The concern of the US is how all ethnic groups in the country can live peacefully.
“It is tricky getting all to live together, so that is why there is the need to meet and share perspectives. We need to be able to move the needle forward together in Nigeria, deal with ethnic issues capable of destabilising the country.
“Nigerians will always find a way around economic issues, but ethnic issues have a way of destabilising the country.”
Adams in his response said the solution to all the crises bedevilling the country was in restructuring.
He said the problems would have been resolved within four years if there had been restructuring.
He said, “It is not in the world’s interest for Nigeria to go to war. The world will be affected. With a population of over 200 million, every part of the world will feel the disintegration of Nigeria.
“So what we are seeking for is for your government to prevail on Nigeria’s government to restructure. Most of our problems will be solved in four years once restructuring takes place.
“Our system is going to a state of collapse, especially with the Buhari Government in the last four years. And it can only get worse. If Buhari does not restructure, it will get worse.
“To save this country, the only way is to accept the report of the Constitutional Conference of 2014 or revert to the 1963 Constitution. As it is now, no zone is peaceful anymore.
“Even in Katsina, the President’s state, two traditional rulers were kidnapped without their traces till today.”