The federal government on Wednesday announced the suspension of the controversial Ruga settlements earlier planned for herdsmen across the nation.
Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Committee on farmers herders crisis and Governor of Ebonyi state, Dave Umahi said the Ruga programme was not consistent with the national livestock transformation plan of the government.
“It was suspended because it is not consistent with the NEC and Federal Government approved National Livestock Transformation plan,” Umahi said after a closed door meeting Chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the Presidential villa, Abuja.
The suspension came following national outrage and rejection that has continued to trail the implementation of the initiative by many state governors and other stakeholders.
The federal government had named Sokoto, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Taraba, Katsina, Plateau, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger, as pilot states for the implementation of the scheme.
Confirming the development Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Committee on farmers herders crisis and Governor of Ebonyi state, Dave Umahi said the Ruga programme was not consistent with the national livestock transformation plan of the government.
“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.”
Specifically, the National Livestock Transformation Plan under which the Ruga programme was approved by State governors at the National Economic Council (NEC) is chaired by the Vice President.
Recall that NEC had on January 17, 2019, approved the plan predicating its decision on the recommendations of a Technical Committee of the Council chaired by Governor Umahi.
Other State Governors on the committee and Working Group of NEC are those from Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo and Zamfara – mostly the frontline States in the Farmer-Herder crises.