…reiterates, ‘This is no Ruga’
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday flagged off the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) in Adamawa State.
Conducting the flag-off at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of the state, the Vice President stressed that the programme is not Ruga but a well thought out scheme for effective use of land and water under a peaceful atmosphere.
The flag-off was trailed by much controversy around the state, with many residents still believing that the NLTP is just another name for the much criticised Ruga Settlement scheme, which has long been disowned by the federal government.
At the flag-off venue, there expressions of misgivings, with even cultural groups called to entertain guests bearing placards and banners prescribing conditions for the implementation of the programme.
‘No settlement for non-cattle Fulani,’ one banner warned. Another said, ‘No to mobile livestock husbandry.’ One other warned against allowing non-indigenous Fulani herders to benefit from the programme meant for the state.
The Vice President, conscious of the mood of the people, assured that the National Livestock Transformation Plan is tailored to build peace in communities and prevent the herdsmen/farmers conflicts that have troubled many states, including Adamawa.
He said the plan was drawn up in the height of the crisis to find a suitable way around it.
“Each state will determine its own model. This is not Ruga,” Osinbajo stressed.
He said the federal government had not come to take any land in Adamawa but had allowed the state to decide on its own what land to allocate to the programme and how the programme would run.
The state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, also assured the people that the NLTP has nothing to do with Ruga, but a project he is convinced has the answers to perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
He said he constituted a six-man committee within his first month in office to implement the programme in the state because of his belief in the potentials of the programme to promote co-existence and grow the economy of the state.
The Chairman of the Adamawa State Committee for the implementation of the livestock transformation plan, Prof Alikidon Voh, who spoke earlier during the flag-off ceremony, disclosed that out of Nigeria’s 415 grazing reserves, Adamawa State has the highest number: 69, out of which 38 had been gazetted.
He added that of the gazetted number, five had been earmarked for the implementation of the NLTP in the state, including the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve and reserves in Jada, Song, Gombi, and Maiha LGAs.