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Monarch to FG: Ruga project cannot work in Benue

Traditional Ruler in charge of Ukum, Katsina-Ala and Logo local government areas of Benue State popularly known as Sankera area, His Royal Highness, Chief Abu King Shuluwa (Tor Sankera1) has said that the suspended Ruga project cannot work in Benue state because Benue does not have enough land.

Recall that three local government areas of Ukum, Otukpo and Tarka were initially earmarked for the Ruga project in Benue, a development which generated public outcry in Benue and in many other states before it was eventually suspended by the federal government.

The Tor Sankera whose domain (Ukum) was one of those initially earmarked for the proposed Ruga project told Daily Sun on Tuesday that he was never consulted before the said massive land was proposed to be used for the project by the Federal government.

“Traditional rulers are the custodians of the land for the people so they must be consulted before any government can take over any land. As far as I know, no traditional ruler in Benue have been consulted by the federal government to get land for the Ruga project.

“Until we are consulted, the Ruga project cannot work because we also have to consult our subjects before any land can be given out to any government.

He said as it is today, Benue as an agrarian state and the food basket of the nation does not have enough land to engage in agriculture as it should.

“In any case, where is the land in Benue? Even if we are consulted, in Benue we don’t have land for such a policy because the land is even too small for our people which is why they always fight for land,” Shuluwa stated.

Also speaking on the continued detention of the Shittes leader, Sheik Elzakzaky and the protest that it had generated, Shuluwa urged the federal government to allow the law take its course in the matter.

“I am not in support of religious extremism but if the man has been arrested and detained, the Federal government should take him to court and the court should pronounce judgement for him if he has been found guilty rather than detaining him forever.

“We are in a democracy. If found guilty, appropriate sanctions should be meted out to him and if not he should be released. That is how it should be. This continued detention without trial and the protests it is generating can cause serious trouble for this country if not well managed.”

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