VP Osinbajo In Direct Clash With Miyetti Allah Over Ruga Settlement

The Office of the Vice-President and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on Friday disagreed over the implementation of the...

The Office of the Vice-President and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on Friday disagreed over the implementation of the controversial Ruga  settlement initiative.

While MACBAN’s  General Secretary, Baba  Ngelzarma,  claimed on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, on Friday that  Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s office  was  helping Fulani herdsmen to create Ruga settlements across the country, Laolu Akande, media aide to Osinbajo, denied the claim.
Ngelzerma had told Channels Television that the Ruga settlement model was a component part of the livestock development and transformation plan being implemented under the Office of the Vice-President.

He said, “All must agree with me that the crisis we are facing today has become a multi-dimensional one. So, the approach must also be holistic. It was the desire of the Federal Government to take a holistic approach that gave birth to the Ruga settlement model and it is not only Fulani who  are herders.

“In Southern Kaduna, there are natives who are also herders. Even in Plateau, there are  groups that are herders. It was intended for the herders as part of the  effort by the government to come up with an economic model of resolving this crisis.

“This is an integrated settlement that will bring about the production of pasture grasses, water, schools, markets, meat and milk processing, and where it can create a sub-sector of the economy. This is something that if done properly, will create a lot of jobs.”

When asked if it was right for the government to spend taxpayers’ money on what would benefit herders alone, Ngelzerma argued that crop farmers had similarly benefitted in  the past.

However, in a swift reaction, the Office of the Vice-President denied being in charge of the implementation of the Ruga settlement initiative.

The  Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, said in a tweet on Friday that the programme being handled by Osinbajo was different from the one being referred to by Miyetti Allah.

Akande said the National Livestock Transformation Plan endorsed by the National Economic Council was different from the Ruga programme.

He tweeted, “Contrary to claims reported in sections of the media, Ruga settlements are not being supervised by the Office of the Vice- President. Ruga is different from the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council.

“On the National Livestock Transformation Plan, 13 states are already in the process of implementation of a plan to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market-oriented value chain while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.

“The states are Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo and Edo. These states are at different stages in the process, but have indicated readiness to implement the plan. Truth is: this Federal Government will not impose on any state government regarding its land.

“NEC okayed the plan based on the recommendation of a technical committee of the council chaired by Ebonyi State Governor  (David) Umahi. Other governors  on the committee and working group are  those of  Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo and Zamfara-mostly the frontline states.”

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