Ruga Scheme: Nasarawa To Implement Own Version, Says Sule

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, says his administration will implement its own version of the Ruga Settlement Scheme, although the project was suspended by the Federal Government.

He stated while hosting a delegation of Fulani leaders, associations, elders and Ardos from across the state that paid him a visit on Sunday in Lafia, the state capital.
Governor Sule noted that even the initial scheme put in place by President Muhammadu Buhari was voluntary, as there was no compulsion whatsoever to implement the project aimed at creating lasting peace between farmers and herdsmen in the country.
He added that while his colleagues heeded the advice to suspend the project, they agreed that they would embark on it in their various states.
The governor said, “Even though the Federal Government has suspended its Ruga project, some of us agreed to continue with the same project in our states, hoping that its advantage will become evident.”
He, however, denied claims that the suspended Federal Government Ruga settlement scheme was compulsory.
“Nobody brought Ruga project to me. I personally approached the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to learn more about the scheme and I was interested,” he added.
Governor Sule who said that there will not be any meaningful development without peace commended President Buhari for his efforts geared towards lasting peace across the country.
He also commended the Fulani leaders for the visit, stressing the need for peaceful coexistence between herdsmen and farmers.
The governor asked them to carry their people along, saying, “As leaders, you don’t have any justification to cause division among your followers.”
He also used the opportunity to call on youths to desist from criminal activities such as kidnapping and cattle rusting, urging them to go back to school in order to help in nation-building.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and Sarkin Fulani Dangi, Senator Walid Jibrin, said the purpose of the visit was to discuss with the governor about the Federal Government proposed Ruga programme for herdsmen, and the willingness of the Nasarawa State government to adopt the project.
Senator Jibrin, who also doubles as the Chairman of Ardos in Nasarawa State, commended the governor over his recent peace proposals to his Benue State counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom, with a view to sustaining the existing peace in the two neighbouring states.
According to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) BoT Chairman, the visit would go a long way in resolving the lingering crisis involving herdsmen and farmers not only in the two states but across the country.

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