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Ortom Rejects Planned ‘RUGA’ Settlement For Herders

The Benue State Government says it will not accept the implementation of the planned ‘ruga’ settlement for herders in the State.

This was contained in a statement by the chief press secretary Terver Akase insisting it is a breach of the constitution and the State’s open grazing prohibition law.

While stressing that the State has no land for grazing reserves or ‘ruga’ settlement he recalled that the State had rejected cattle colonies and is still against any disguised policy that contravenes the State ranches establishment law.

“A few weeks ago, the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture with his team in Benue State informed officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture that he had received directives from the ministry’s headquarters Abuja to establish Ruga which means ‘Fulani settlement’ in parts of the state.

“The Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Agriculture drew the attention of the Director and his team to the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 being implemented in the state. When they were also reminded about the Land Use Act which confers on the Governor the powers to administer lands in all parts of the State, officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture left with a promise to relay the message to their headquarters. They surprisingly returned a few days later with contractors to commence work on the Ruga settlements,” He noted.

Akase maintained that Benue would only accept the policy if it supports implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.

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