By Danladi Al-Hassan
The Federal Government has suspended the Ruga initiative it proposed as a mean to resolve the clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, who disclosed this at the presidential villa in Abuja on Wednesday at the end of a meeting of the National Economic Council Committee on farmers-herders crisis, said Ruga was suspended as a result of its lack of consistency with the federal government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan.
“We, the NEC committee on farmers/ herders crisis under the chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met today to deliberate on the approved programme of national economic council (NEC) and federal government, tagged, ‘The National Livestock Transformation Programme’,” he said.
“We are aware that today that Mr. President has suspended the implementation of Ruga programme, initiated and being implemented by the federal ministry of agriculture and natural resources, because it is not consistent with the NEC and federal government approved National Livestock Transformation plan which has programmes of rehabilitation of displaced IDPs, resulting from the crisis and also development of ranches in any willing state of the Federation. The word is willing state of the federation.
“The National Livestock Transformation plan, its beauty is that what NEC and FG approved is a voluntary programme to all the 36 states who may like to participate. So, 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.”
Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau, and Atiku Bagudu, his Kebbi counterpart, attended the meeting.
Controversy had trailed the project since it was announced in June. While some governors welcomed it, others had said it could lead to more attacks on communities.