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Ruga: No herdsmen should bring cows into South East by foot again — Governors

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The South East Governors Forum has said all herdsmen will no longer be allowed to move their cows by foot into the South East Region.

The Governors resolved that the mobement of cows should be by road transportation using trailers to their specific cow markets.

The Director General, South East Governors Forum Uchenna Ortuanya
in a statement on Tuesday said the resolution was made by the governor’s during its forum on the issue of suspended Ruga programme and Implementation of National Livestock Transformation plan (NLTP).

The Forum noted that the movement of cattle by foot is the point of conflict with the farmers and natives.

The Forum also debunked allegations that Governors of South East have secretly donated land for RUGA Programme being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture NLTP as approved by the National Economic Council, NEC.

“The fact remains that no South East Governor has donated any land or intends to donate any land for any of the two programmes for lack of enough land in the entire South East.

They maintained that they do not have any land to donate for RUGA or NLTP programmes but we are resolved to selling grasses and by-product of farms to support NLTP for states that have keyed into the programme.

The Forum also resolved that governors will not chase away Herdsmen who are peaceful and have been living peacefully in the South East.

“Governors of South East appreciate the we have good and law abiding Herdsmen who have been living with us; some of them were even born here. We have been living in peace with them until recently when we started witnessing invasion of our land, kidnapping of our people, killing of defenseless natives and destruction of their farmlands.

“These herdsmen that have been living peacefully with us together with the natives have insisted that these evil as now experienced in our land are the handiwork of herdsmen moving from
other states into South East and most of the time, these herdsmen are not even Nigerians”.

The Forum therefore urged that Federal Government to immediately start the implementation of NLTP in the Northern States that have accepted the Programme and where we have large expanse of land.

“This will surly stop the movement of cows from one state to the other and put a stop to the crisis and suspicion between farmers and herdsmen.”

“The objective and success of this programme must be viewed along the lines of conflict resolution, welfare for herders, peaceful co-existence among farmers and herders, rehabilitation and reintegration of the displaced farmers/ herders and natives and increase in the wealth of herders, farmers and the nation at large.”

The forum therefore called on Igbos living outside the South East especially in the North to ignore the threat contained in the video message by “self-styled Northern Youths” and to be careful with comments not to heat up the already charged state of Nigeria in this regard.

“We are in talks with the Northern Governors and their leaders who speak for their people and they have assured us that there is no harm that will befall our people living in various Northern states across Nigeria.”

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