Youths from Zaki-Biam in Ukum area of Otobi, Otukpo, Benue state, on Friday staged a protest to condemn the planned Ruga Farm settlement in the north-central state.
Concise News understands that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had revealed plans to create Ruga settlements for herdsmen in 12 pilot states in Nigeria.
But the youths claim that the planned Ruga settlement violates Open Grazing Law in Benue state, saying this could give room for renewed clashes between herders and farmers
Speaking on this development, President of the Benue Youth Congress, Orngu Angu, argued that the proposed Ruga settlement was an anomaly.
“We are out marching on Benue streets this morning to protest the said plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish Ruga settlement in Benue State,” he said.
“Benue State has recorded a lot of herdsmen crisis. When we heard the establishment of Ruga – for herdsmen to come and settle with us! We are out here this morning to say that we reject this.
“Our stand has remained on ranching. Benue State has a bill that says all herdsmen should ranch their cattle, anything short of that is an anomaly, and we Benue youths reject this.”
This news medium understands that community leaders and youths in Otobi have sent a protest letter to the state government through the Otukpo local government chairman, George Alli.
Receiving the letter, Alli said the message would be sent to the state government.
“All lands belong to the state government, it is only the state government that has the right to give land to whoever it pleases,” he said.
“We maintain that Ruga settlement is a law against open grazing in Benue State. If anybody want to ranch, they should go to the state government. The state government will show them where they should go for ranching. They cannot come and point where they want to ranch.”