RUGA: Northern Governors Come Up With New Plan
Herdsmen and their cattle in Bayelda (file image courtesy: Anthony Okpu/BJO/NAN)

The Northern Governors Forum says it has agreed to dump the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) policy for National Livestock Transformation Plan, Concise News reports.

This news medium learned that, following their emergency meeting held in Kaduna on Thursday, the governors said the aforementioned plan was the best way to tackle the age long herder/farmers clashes in the region.

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Chairman of the Forum and Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, stated the outcome of the meeting.

“It is the forum’s unwavering determination to rescue the region and position it to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people, especially in the areas of security, economic and social development,” Lalong said.

He said the governors discussed issues of common interest, particularly development of the Agricultural sector; being the economic live wire of the region.

According to him, the forum noted the National Livestock Transformation Programme was meant to” provide a mechanism for peacefully dialogue and reconciliation in crisis communities toward a harmonious and mutually beneficial region.”

He said the forum therefore adopted the National Livestock Transformation plan which includes modernising pastoral activities, while encouraging states not included in the pilot scheme to endeavour to join.

“It is expected that the plan would ensure resettling and addressing the dislocated populations in the key conflict zones to enable them become part of the agricultural modernization process,” Lalong said.

“In the same vein, it would provide a mechanism for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation in the affected communities towards a harmonious mutually beneficial future.”

On security challenges, Governor Lalong said: “The current challenges of insecurity which seems to be persisting despite the concerted efforts by all tiers of government was also deliberated based on insightful analyses and the best possible ways to address the menace which is currently bedeviling the region.

“Consequently the Forum resolved to continue to adopt a sustainable and holistic approach towards tackling this challenge in the region.

“It is the Forum’s unwavering determination to rescue the region and reposition it to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our people, especially in the areas of security, economy and social development.”

National Livestock Transformation Plan

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had inaugurated the National Livestock Transformation Plan On Tuesday at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa area of Adamawa state.

The government believes the plan, to be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara, will develop Nigeria’s livestock sector and also reduce the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers.