CAN Cautions Against Repackaging Ruga For Future Implementation
By Saxone Akhaine, Msugh Ityokura and Charles Akpeji
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has cautioned the Federal Government against igniting a civil war in the country by repackaging the Ruga policy for implementation in future.
It, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for suspending the policy meant to acquire lands for Fulani settlements across the country.
It Nigerians may resist any attempt by President Buhari to the policy even in future, just as it urged government to concentrate on how to end insecurity in the country, propelled by Boko Haram insurgency, killings by Fulani herdsmen, as well as kidnappings and armed banditry.
Vice Chairman of Northern CAN, Reverend John Joseph Hayab who reacted to the suspension of the policy yesterday in Kaduna, said government should not have initiated the policy in the first place after several Nigerians protested against other attempts to acquire lands for the Fulani in parts of Nigeria.
Hayab argued that considering the security situation in the country, any attempt to promote land acquisition policy for the Fulani may escalate further tensions, stressing that government should avoid anything that may precipitate crisis in the country.
Besides, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong yesterday urged calm, especially in the northern part of the country, following suspension of Federal Government’s Ruga settlement initiative for Fulani herders.
“Following the announcement of suspension of the policy by the Federal Government, it has become pertinent for me, as Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum to clarify on the true position of things to calm frayed nerves,” he said.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Lalong acknowledged the responses of all Nigerians before after the announcement of the suspension, which he noted was part of the beauty of democracy that allows citizens to participate in shaping and moderating the functions of government with regards to matters of public interest.
However, youths in Taraba State yesterday urged the Federal Government to support the state towards the full implementation of its open grazing law, adding: “This is the best way to have lasting and enduring peace between herders and the farmers in the state.”
They cited the state’s Open Grazing law 2017, which seeks to establish ranches for rearing livestock in line with international best practices and commended the Federal Government for listening to Nigerians by suspending the controversial Ruga settlement project.
The youths, under the auspices of Taraba Volunteer Group (TVG) stated this at a media briefing in Jalingo, urging the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to concentrate on policies that carry and treat all Nigerians as equal citizens rather than give a particular section advantage over and above other groups.