FG Denies Imposing RUGA Settlement On States, Osinbajo’s Office Says Its Not Involved In The RUGA Plan
Following the controversy that is trailing the proposed RUGA Settlement plan by the FG, in which some states are alleging that it is a deliberate plan by the Buhari administration to colonize their lands and impose Fulani tribes on their people, with a view of islamizing the country. The office of the Presidency has released a media statement through the Senior Special Assistant Garba Shehu.
Below is the statement, which tries to explain the ideology behind the RUGA Settlement.
The Presidency wishes to draw attention to recent unhelpful comments regarding the plan to stop roaming of cattle herders with the attendant clashes with farmers. “Ruga Settlement” that seeks to settle migrant pastoral families, simply means rural settlement in which animal farmers, not just cattle herders, will be settled in an organized 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. Beneficiaries will include all persons in animal husbandry, not only Fulani herders.
The Federal Government is planning this in order to curb open grazing of animals that continue to pose security threats to farmers and herders. The overall benefit to the nation includes a drastic reduction in conflicts between herders and farmers, a boost in animal protection complete with a value chain that will increase the quality and hygiene of livestock in terms of beef and milk production, increased quality of feeding and access to animal care and private sector participation in commercial pasture production by way of investments.
Other gains are job creation, access to credit facilities, security for pastoral families and curtailment of cattle rustling. Stripped of the politics and howling that has attended the recent comments, there is no government plan to seize state land, colonize territory or impose Ruga on any part of the federation. Government has made it clear time and again that the programme is voluntary.
So far, twelve states have applied to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, making lands available for the take-off of the scheme in their states. This number is sufficient for the pilot scheme. Unfortunately, some state governments that have not signified interest in the scheme and, therefore, are not on the invitation list have been misleading people that the Federal Government is embarking on a scheme to take away their lands. Mostly, these are state leaders that have no explanation to offer their people for continued non-payment of workers’ salaries. It is true that government at the centre has gazetted lands in all states of the federation but because the idea is not to force this programme on anyone, the government has limited the take-off to the dozen states with valid requests.
We urge states to join the Federal Government at the centre in encouraging all sides to these conflicts to make efforts towards finding a peaceful resolution. As we seek a permanent solution to these unwanted conflicts, efforts must be made to ensure that no innocent person faces any kind of deprivation or loss of right and freedom under our laws.
Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity)
In other news, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Osinbajo’s Office has denied being involved in the Ruga Resettlement Project, and this is contrary to claims reported in sections of the media.
According to Osinbajo’s aides, 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, SAN.
“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 front line 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 front lines 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.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
WakeUpAfrica360 asks what then is the difference between RUGA Settlement and National Livestock Transformation Plan?
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