Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Walid Jibrin, has urged Nigerians to embrace the establishment of rug programme of the Federal Government.
Mr. Jibrin told journalists at his Nasarawa country home, yesterday, in Nasarawa State that the proposed settlement policy for herdsmen would promote peace and security in the country.
He also explained that the programme would boost food security and improve the health and standard of living in rural communities.
Mr Jibrin, who is also the Sarkin (leader) of Fulani in Nasarawa State, commended the Federal Government for introducing the policy in the country considering its importance.
“I am not in APC, I am a PDP chieftain. But when we talk of development and security, we should leave anything about politics, religion and tribe.
“Whoever is ruling in Nigeria, if he brings any programme that will do away with insecurity, killings and will take care of the welfare of the people, I will go by that. My politics is not a do or die and I play politics without bitterness.
“That is why I am and we Fulani commend the Federal Government for introducing the RUGA project in the country.
“I and our tribe (Fulani) had embraced the programme. RUGA project includes the provision of hospitals, schools, water supply and electricity, among other facilities, which will have a direct bearing on the lives of the herders.
“Apart from that, it will also tackle incessant farmers/herdsmen conflicts as well as boost food security in the country,” he said.
ibrin also called on the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups to embrace the programme in the interest of national development.
“About 12 states in the North have already embraced it and have already started the project, including Nasarawa State.
“So, I am calling on the southerners, the Igbos, the Yorubas, among others, to embrace it, even though the project is not compulsory.
“The project will keep the herdsmen one, safe and will improve on their welfare as some states in the South East have already promised to donate land for the project,” he noted.
He, therefore, called on all herdsmen and other Nigerians to shun armed robbery, kidnapping and other negative tendencies in the interest of peace and development. The PDP BoT chairman also urged Nigerians to live peacefully irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation for development to reign.
The apex socio-cultural organization of Ndigbo, Ohanaeze, has said the Sambisa forest is enough to accommodate the whole cows in Nigeria.
National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-okpaga made the remark in reaction to the statement by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Walid Jibrin that he supports the suspended Ruga Settlement policy.
Achi-Okpaga said Ohanaeze has never said the Ruga programme is not good but that the South East has no space to implement such a policy.
“If they can pipe oil from the South to the North, they can as well pipe water from the South to the North.”
Also reacting, the National Publicity secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin described the policy as an ethnic colonialist agenda and argued that anybody who subscribed to it did not care about loyalty to party.
“It is very clear that the PDP, APC or whatever nomenclature you call it does not mean anything to the ethnic agenda. So, it is not a matter of the PDP or APC. It is an internal colonialist agenda and anybody that subscribes to that agenda based on ethnic affiliation does not care about his party. What the PDP BOT chair has shown is that when it is between his ethnic affiliation, the party and the nation, he will take sides with his ethnic region.”
A highly placed official of the PDP from the South on condition of anonymity said he was not surprised because the PDP BOT chair is a Fulani man.
He also said the Ruga policy was an ethnic agenda and observed that whatever PDP boss said on it was not the position of the opposition party.
But the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, said he would rather supports the National Livestock Plan being hatched by the governors nationwide.