FG Denies Suspending Livestock Transformation Plan …Listen To Nigerians On RUGA, Iwuanyanwu Cautions FG


The Presidency, yesterday, clarified that the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government has not been suspended.
While advising Nigerians not to worry about the 30-day ultimatum given by the Coalition of Northern Groups over the suspension of the nationwide implementation of the Ruga settlement for Fulani herders, the Presidency advised the CNG to respect the Office of the President which, it said, took the decision in national interest.
The Senior Policy Adviser (Agriculture Interventions Coordination) in the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja during a training session organised for the executives of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and its executives in eight states considered to be flashpoints.
The training programme, which was jointly organised by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, had as its theme: “Dialogue and Negotiations: Why, When and How To Be Effective.”
Kwasari said, “No, the National Livestock Transformation Plan has not been suspended; in fact, it has been enhanced because Mr. President, in his wisdom, has spoken and directed that this is the plan that we should be working around to implement.
“We will need an all-encompassing committee of the National Economic Council, National Food Security Council, and Federal Executive Council working together to deliver this plan. So, for us, this is the type of leadership that the country needs. So, there is no mention of suspension whatsoever for the NLTP.”
Meanwhile, elder statesman, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has advised the Federal government to listen to the voice of the people who are vehemently opposed to its proposed RUGA settlement for herdsmen.
According to him, the federal government ought not bother itself with the Ruga grazing settlement programme for Fulani herders across the country.
Iwuanyanwu who holds one of the highest titles “Aha ejiagamba” in Igbo land, pointed out that there is no way majority of the voices of the people rejecting the proposal would be wrong.
He re-echoed that ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’
Speaking with newsmen, he said: “We have Fulanis in this country likewise other tribes; we have never had any problem; I don’t believe these people who are involved in the killings are from Nigeria; they might be from outside Nigeria but if government would allow this, that means they are allowing foreigners to come and kill our people. Look at what is happening in Benue, Nasarawa ,Taraba and Zamfara; no country can accept that. I believed that the government has reached a point where it should listen to the voice of the people.
“The whole of the South West cannot be stupid; South-South cannot be stupid; South East cannot be stupid; the Middle Belt cannot be stupid even the Hausas are in trouble because they’re being killed too. I don’t believe all these people are stupid. Of course, I’m very happy that the governors of South East have stated it clearly that they don’t want the RUGA settlement and if you come to South East on whose lands would they settle them?
“We don’t have the land mass; the land here is owned by people; there is nothing wrong with the cattle rearer negotiating with the landowners to buy land; we are not used to a situation where the Federal government would take over land and give to the herdsmen; I can’t understand that. Why can’t theygive it to other farmers? Why are the Fulani always being treated differently like a special tribe? Why is the Federal government insisting on having people’s land even when the people are saying no to that?
“We are not stopping anybody from anywhere from acquiring property; any Nigerian who can afford to acquire property anywhere has to do that with their money but not the Federal government acquiring it for them. Fulani are free to acquire property anywhere but they must negotiate with owners of the land.”
“Yes it is true that government is vested with power, but that does not mean that the owner of the land should be dispossessed of his land; the law also allows them to negotiate with the landowners.
“Igbo are everywhere, yet the government has not made laws to giving them lands free; Igbo buy their own land, so why are these people special? The era of migration has long stopped; everybody has settled at a place they can geographically call their own.
“So the Federal government should condemn the activities of herdsmen; some of them maim and kill innocent people while claiming that their cattle were rustled; if that is so, they should not resort to anarchy; there are laws to take care of that instead of them taking the laws into their hands.
“As a cattle rearer, your business is your business, not that of a state. So, the government should not bother itself about RUGA,” Iwuanyanwu said.