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Osinbajo denies supervising establishment of Ruga settlements

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has distanced himself from the raging controversy trailing the Federal Government’s decision to establish Ruga settlements for herdsmen in states across the country.

The Government had on Tuesday said in the next five years, the establishment of the Ruga herdsmen’s settlements would stop open grazing by herdsmen.

But many Nigerians including the pilot states have criticised the plan, describing it as a ploy to colonise the country by the nomadic tribe.

The General Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Baba Uthman Ngelzarma, had reportedly said Vice-President Osinbajo’s office is helping the herdsmen to create Ruga settlements across the country.

Ngelzerma boasted that when the programme has been successfully completed, Nigerians would fully enjoy the benefits of animal husbandry.

But reacting to the claim in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, said the scheme is not under the supervision of the vice president.

“Contrary to claims reported in sections of the media, the establishment of Ruga settlements is not being supervised by the Office of the Vice President,” Akande said.

According to the Vice president, the Federal Government will not impose the planned scheme on any State government.

“The Ruga initiative is different from the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by State governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo,” Akanda stated.

“NEC on January 17, 2019, approved the plan based on the recommendations of a Technical Committee of the Council chaired by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State. Other State Governors on the committee and Working Group of NEC are those from Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo & Zamfara – mostly the frontline States in the Farmer-Herder crises.

“The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028 is a programme to be implemented in 7 pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara (as decided by NEC in January), being States in the frontlines of the Farmer-Herder crises. Afterwards, six other States have indicated readiness to also implement the plan. They are Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, and Edo states.

“The plan has six pillars through which it aims to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market-oriented value chain while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.

“The six key pillars include: economic investment, conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery, human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication.

“In all the Federal Government will not impose on any State government regarding its land,” the statement clarified.


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