FG suspends Ruga
The federal government on Wednesday suspended the controversial Rural Grazing Area settlements for herdsmen across the nation.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State revealed this at the presidential villa in Abuja on Wednesday after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The governor said the reason the planned Ruga was suspended because it was not consistent with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
He noted that the NLTP approved by the National Economic Council and the Federal Government is a voluntary programme to all the 36 states who like to participate.
“It is not compulsory, it is for any state that is willing, will key into the programme. Any state that is interested in this programme is required to bring up a development plan that is keyed towards the implementation in line with our own programme here that is unique to his state based on the challenges that he has in respect of the crisis. That’s the decision of this committee.”
The Ruga initiative drew the ire and condemnation of some state governors who insisted there is no land for ranches and cattle colonies in their state.
The Federal Government before the suspension planned the settlements in order to curb open grazing of animals that continue to pose security threats to farmers and herders.
The Presidency on Sunday clarified that the Ruga settlements seek to settle animal farmers, not just cattle herders, in an “organised place with provision of necessary and adequate basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, road networks, vet clinics, markets and manufacturing entities that will process and add value to meats and animal products”.
The Benue State Government had said that it will not be part of the project, rejecting the “attempt to impose the Ruga settlement projects on them without the consent and approval of the governor who controls and administers the land in the state in trust for the people”.
“We wish to make it clear that no land in Benue State has been gazetted for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements, contrary to the Presidency’s claim,” Terver Akase, the spokesman of Governor Samuel Ortom said in a statement.