4 min read

Ife Adewole


Ruga Settlement is one of the Federal Government’s efforts to settle the herdsmen and their cattle by acquiring territories to them in every interested state of the federation was suspended on Wednesday July 3, 2018.

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The suspension was announced in Abuja as a result of the abrupt rejection of the project by Nigerians. The rejection prompted the meeting of all governors representing the six geopolitical zones of the country with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While some Nigerians like the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom applauded the President for listening to the agitations of the people in a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, he described the suspension of the project by the Federal Government as victory for all peace-loving Nigerians, adding that truth has prevailed on the Ruga issue.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, a socio cultural group for the Igbos gave kudos to the Federal Government for suspending the Ruga Project. The President of the group, Chief John Nwodo through his Special Adviser on Media, Chief Emeka Attamah urged the Federal Government to disarm herdsmen.

He said “It is heartwarming to observe that for the first time, the current leadership at the federal level has deferred to people’s opinion on a public issue.

“The Federal Government should take immediate measures to disarm the Ak-47 trotting herders throughout the country. Issues surrounding the suspended Ruga scheme indicate the importance of consulting the people before taking certain decisions that will affect them.”

Other Socio-cultural groups like the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afeninfere said suspension is not synonymous to cancellation, it just implies asking for more time. The spokesperson for the group, Yinka Odumakin stated that “I think they are just buying time. We would have said they were bending to public opinion if the programme was cancelled.

Odumakin added that something must be hidden, if not why is it that it was the day Ruga settlement suspension was announced that the coalition of northern groups issued an ultimatum for the policy to be implemented within three weeks. He said “How come the day the Ruga was suspended was the day a coalition of northern groups is issuing an ultimatum that the policy must be implemented within three weeks?”

Similarly, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF National Secretary Dr Alfred Mulade argued that the project could compromise national security and the safety of Nigerians. He explained that “The suspension is not enough, it should be cancelled outright because suspension is a temporary measure, what we want is total cancellation. Ruga shouldn’t be mentioned at all. It is against the collective peace and survival of the people of Nigeria.”

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