We will Not Accept FG Ruga In Benue State – Governor Samuel Ortom
By Odeh Henry
The Benue state government had said on Tuesday, June 25, that it will not accept the ‘Ruga’ settlement for herdsmen currently being implemented by the federal government in some states across the country.
Recalled in a statement on behalf of the state government by Terver Akase, the spokesperson of the governor, that Samuel Ortom had earlier rejected cattle colonies and is still rejecting the policy in whichever guise it is taking.It was reported in the statement that governor Ortom had stressed that the state would embrace the policy only if it supports implementation of the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law 2017.
According to the governor, Benue state has no land for open grazing of cattle just as he restated ranching as a lasting solution to the incessant herders and farmers crisis which the country ought to embrace.
“Governor Ortom made similar presentations at different fora to buttress why open grazing of livestock is not feasible in a densely populated country with over 200 million people. It was gathered that Benue government made its position known following an information from the director of the federal ministry of agriculture, who, with his team in Benue, informed officials of the state that he had received directives from Abuja to establish ‘Ruga’.
The director reportedly stated that the local government areas selected for the Ruga settlements were Otukpo, Tarka and Ukum.
“We find the approach of the federal ministry of agriculture not only as a gross violation of the ranching law but also as an insult to the sensibilities of the entire people of Benue state.
“We wish to remind those pushing for Ruga settlements that the constitution of the country gives states the right to make laws for the governance of their people,” the statement said adding that any attempt to subvert such right is a direct attack on the constitution.