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Finally, FG drops Ruga

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Ohaneze, others laud Buhari …

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the controversial rehabilitation scheme for herdsmen introduced by federal government under the aegis of Ruga programme.

Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi dropped this hint while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) committee on farmers-herders crisis yesterday.

Umahi disclosed that the committee on farmers-herders crisis met under the chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with a mandate to deliberate on the approved programme of National Economic Council (NEC) and Federal Government, the National Livestock Transformation Programme.

“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 to 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 based on the challenges. That’s the decision of this committee,” the governor said.

Gov. Umahi also stated that President Buhari is suspending the programme because it was inconsistent with national agricultural policy.

“We are aware that today that Mr. President has suspended the implementation of Ruga programme, initiated and being implemented by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, because it is not consistent with the NEC and Federal Government approved National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) which has programmes of rehabilitation of displaced IDPs, resulting from the crisis and also development of ranches in any willing state of the federation,” Umahi said.

In a related development, the suspension of Ruga programme by President Buhari has been drawing commendation from several quartres who say it shows that federal government is sensistive to public opinion.

Commending Buhari on the suspension yesterday, the apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide said that it would reduce tension in the land.

A report credited to Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President General of Ohaneze,  Chief  Emeka Attamah, says that Ohaneze appreciates federal government’s decision to listen to voice of reason in the suspension of the proposal.

“It is heartwarming to observe that for the first time, the current leadership at the federal level has deferred to people’s opinion on public issues; Issues surrounding the suspended RUGA scheme which indicates the importance of consulting the people before taking certain decisions that will affect them,” the report stated.

It will be recalled that only 12 states have indicated their willingness to participate in Ruga programme.

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