Southern, Middle Belt caution Lawan, Enang on Ruga, Borno to implement policy
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has cautioned Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and former Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Ewang to drop implementation of the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) agenda through the back door.
The forum said Nigeria is presently in a precarious situation and all those holding temporary offices should not do permanent damage to it.
In a statement yesterday, Spokesmen of the forum, Yinka Odumakin (Afenifere), Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt Leaders Forum), Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Professor Chigozie Ogbu (South East) said their attention has been drawn to statements credited to Enang on what they described as Federal Government’s divisive and internal colonialisation project tagged Ruga.
The forum accused Enang of encouraging Ruga because of his desperation for re-appointment by President Buhari, adding: “Enang did overtime on dirty jobs spewing untruths and making wild claims against the general interest of the country.”
They also said Enang lied when he said Ruga was not derived from Hausa or Fulani, but an acronym for Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) initiated in 1956 during the colonial era.
It also faulted his explanation that Ruga was not intended to Islamise, Fulanise or colonise anybody in the country.
They urged him to state the number of Fulani who have indicated that they want to relocate to the South outside their colony from Senegal, Niger, Mali and others who will have territories created for them under the Ruga policy, stressing: “This is Fulanisation and colonialism.”
Meanwhile, Borno State Governor Babagana Umara has said the state government will implement Federal Government’s Ruga policy to end farmers and herdsmen clashes in parts of the country.
Umara disclosed this yesterday in an interactive session at the Agricultural Resource Team Farm (ARTF), Konduga in Borno State.
His words: “The state government will key into the federal government’s RUGA scheme with a view to providing our herdsmen land and water points to graze all year round.
“There is a misconception between some communities and the Federal Government scheme on cattle ranches. The scheme is to provide a place for farmers and herders to live harmoniously, graze and farm without crisis.
“We have identified six different locations, which are considered safe for the pilot scheme in the state. The RUGA scheme is as old as history. It is not a new thing among the various communities Borno Central and South districts.”
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