The Federal Government of Nigeria has suspended plans related to the proposed Ruga Programme for Fulani herdsmen in all 36 states of the federation.
An aide in the presidency confirmed this to Channels Television. The source, however, says the Governors Forum will be speaking on the matter soon.
The Ruga initiative has for some time been generating heated debates in various quarters with some arguing that it is a scheme by the government of the day to reposition the Fulani tribe.
However, the presidency has defended the controversial Ruga settlements programme saying that the initiative is for the benefit of all.
According to a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, the presidency said the programme is not a scheme to reposition the Fulani people, adding that no state has been forced to partake of the initiative.
The presidency’s statement partially reads: “The Presidency wishes to draw attention to recent unhelpful comments regarding the plan to stop roaming of cattle herders with the attendant clashes with farmers.
“Ruga Settlement” that seeks to settle migrant pastoral families simply means rural settlement in which animal farmers, not just cattle herders, will be settled in an organized place with provision of necessary and adequate basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, road networks, vet clinics, markets and manufacturing entities that will process and add value to meats and animal products.
Beneficiaries will include all persons in animal husbandry, not only Fulani herders.”