President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday suspends the controversial Ruga settlement scheme, designed to settle the Fulani and their cattle on acquired land across states in the federation.
The suspension was announced in Abuja after governors representing the six geopolitical zones of the country met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Chairman of the National Committee on Food Security/Herders/Farmers Conflicts and Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr Dave Umahi, disclosed the government’s decision to journalists after the meeting.
Besides Umahi, others at the meeting included Plateau State Governor, Mr Simon Lalong; Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu; and the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Mr Martins Nasir.
Umahi explained that the controversial Ruga policy was not consistent with the National Livestock Transformation Plan, which was earlier deliberated upon and approved by the National Economic Council. Osinbajo is the Chairman of the NEC.
The Ebonyi State governor spoke further, “We, the NEC committee on farmers/herders crises under the chairmanship of His Excellency, Mr Vice-President, met today to deliberate on the approved programme of NEC and the Federal Government, tagged ‘National Livestock Transformation Programme.’
“We are aware today that Mr President has suspended the implementation of the Ruga programme, initiated and being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“(This is) because it is not consistent with the NEC and the Federal Government-approved National Livestock Transformation plan, which has programmes of rehabilitation of internally displaced persons resulting from crises and also the development of ranches in any willing state of the federation. The word is willing state of the federation.