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Although, the federal government has suspended its initial proposal to establish Ruga settlements across the country, the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, Tuesday called for “total cancellation” of the Ruga scheme, saying the scheme was a form of “colonialism.”
Speaking with reporters in Government House, Jalingo, Ishaku said the “suspension” of the scheme was not enough, as it still raises suspicion.
The governor said “ranching” was the best modern practice of breeding cattle and solving the farmers/herders conflicts.
Lau, Zing, Ibi and Sarduana local governments of Taraba state had been earmarked for Ruga. But the protests in many states, including Benue and Taraba who have borne the brunt of farmers and herders clashes, led to the suspension of the scheme.
The youths in the state had described the scheme as “a threat to tribes in Taraba state and the nation at large,” adding that Fulani herdsmen troubling the state were aliens tied with a ulterior motive to grab the lands of the original inhabitants.
Ishaku, who officially kicked against the suspended scheme said: “Ruga is colonialism; it is not about cattle; it is not even about grasses. There is a It should not only be suspended, it should be cancelled completely,” says Governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku.
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“The whole Ruga scheme should be canceled. You can’t do a Ruga in the entire country. I don’t accept it. It is not workable, and it will not work in Taraba state.
“Already, I have in place the Anti-Open Grazing Law in Taraba state that prohibits open grazing but encourages ranching. And we are making a lot of progress on ranching.
“I have submitted a request to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for us (Taraba) to be given a loan for us to do the ranching, but the CBN has refused to approve it, for reasons I don’t know.
“Otherwise, I would have showcased what ranching is in Taraba state. It is the best form of practice in modern days, if indeed you are talking about cattle, grasses and grazing.
“But I don’t think they (federal government) are talking about cattle; I don’t agree that they are talking about grasses. They are talking of something else: colonisation,” he said.