If there was any doubt that Federal Government was involved in the much-talked about Cattle colony project, under a pseudonym, Ruga, a leaked contract paper; project billboard from Benue State; and even a denial from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN, has confirmed it.
There has been a cacophony of loud noises and rash of comments on social media about the project, but Osinbajo, who, like other Chritian officials, has been lambasted for foisting an alleged Fulanisation and Islamideation agenda on the country, has flatly denied any involvement in the ‘Ruga’ project.
His spokesman, Mr. ‘Laolu Akande, clarified the project his boss is involved with: “Contrary to claims reported in sections of the media, the establishment of Ruga settlements is not being supervised by the Office of the Vice President.
“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 frontline 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 frontlines 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:
▪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”.
The Benue State government has already made known its stiff opposition to the project, but other state governments, allegedly involved in ceding out large portions of land, have remained silent. Some former governors are also alleged to have done same.
South-East governors have also dissociated themselves from the controversial Ruga project, maintaining they have no land to spare.
Many have spoken against the Ruga project. Public commentator, Rev. Polycarp Gbaja, wrote on social media: “We have options and actions to arrest this legally, politically, spiritually and physically. Once we take a position of zero tolerance to further rascality and determined brigandage of the Buhari Administration then we could find the reason and ways to unite and deal with this.
“This is but the tip of the iceberg of his plans for the next four years. Very immediately, strategically and delibrately we must first register a counter narrative and then change our Rules of Engagement to this sordid drama of the past decade”.