The south eastern and south southern governors say they never agreed concerning the Ruga settlements for herdsmen in their zones. The governors claim the agreement they reached with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has nothing to do with Ruga settlements.
Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, recalls that the agreement was that members of MACBAN would bring their cows to sell and take back grass in return to feed their herds Governors from the south east and the south south zones of Nigeria, on Sunday, June 30, rejected the proposed Ruga farm settlements of the federal government for herdsmen across states of the federation. The governors said they were not part of the move and that they had no plans for such settlements in their zones. Their joint decision was contained in a statement issued by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, through his media aide, Emmanuel Uzor, in Abakaliki.
The statement said the south east and the south south governors were joining other political zones in the country to deny members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) of Ruga settlement in their areas. The statement said Umahi asked the members of MACBAN to accept anti-grazing law established by the federal government in the northern region long ago. According to Umahi, the south east, being an agrarian region, is faced with limited landmass and cannot accommodate any Ruga settlement. The governor further charged the federal government to follow the recommendations reached by the technical committee on farmers and herdsmen clash carved from the federal cconomic council. “Umahi was the chairman of NEC sub technical committee on farmers and herdsmen clash and he toured the states of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Zamfara and two other states where he made in one of his recommendations to the federal government for revamping of grazing reserve in the north where all the cattle rearers in the south will take their cattle to and rely on the grass that are grown in the south,” the statement noted.
The statement added that it would work in a way that the herdsmen would bring down their cows to the south east and sell as meat while they will load the grasses which are grown in the zone in the same trailer with which they transported their animals to feed their cattle in those grazing reserves which should be made comfortable for them. “By this herdsmen are expected to embrace anti open grazing by returning to the ranches in the north and do their business on the trade by barter basis of selling cows to the south and buying grass to feed their cows in the north,” the governor said.