South East govs react to creation of Ruga settlement in Igbo land

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David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi State.

Amidst reactions trailing the decision of the Federal Government to establish Ruga Settlement in states of the federation, state governors of the South-East region has made their position on the issue known.

As a means to curtail headers and farmers clashes across the country, the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration endorsed  the creation of Ruga settlement for herdsmen.

This move has been misinterpreted with mostly Nigerians from the southern part of the nation accusing the government on embarking on land grabbing mission for herders alleged as arrowheads of insecurity nationwide.

Although the initiative is said to be optional for states who wish to endorse it by providing land where it should be cited, the award of the contract in Benue State which rejected it further fuelled speculation that the government might be economical with the truth.

Benue State is one of the states that has witnessed criminal activities allegedly carried out by herdsmen often said to be from the Fulani tribe, where Mr Buhari hails from.

Reacting to the controversial issue, South East governors led by David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi State, rejected the initiative in the region.

A statement from Emmanuel Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to Mr Umahi said the governors suggested the settlement for herdsmen be established in the North while grasses from the Igbo communities are transported to the North for cows to feed on.

“The way it works is that the herdsmen will bring down their cows to the South East and sell us as meat while they will load the grasses which are grown here in the same trailer with which they transported their cows to feed their cattle in those grazing reserve which should be made comfortable for them,” the statement partly read.

Umahi said the position of the governors on Ruga settlement is part of the deal they had with herdsmen who demanded the formation of Fulani vigilante in Igbo communities.