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Shock as PDP BoT chairman drums support for RUGA settlement

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By Sylvanus Okpe

The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Walid Jibrin, in a way that negated the stance of his party called on Nigerians to embrace the establishment of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) programme of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Jibrin made this call in a chat with newsmen in Nasarawa State maintaining that the proposed settlement policy for herdsmen would promote peace and security in the country.

The PDP chieftain further stressed that the programme would boost food security and improve on the health and standard of living in rural communities.

Jibrin, who is also the Sarkin (leader) of Fulani in Nasarawa state, commended the federal government for introducing the RUGA programme in the country considering its importance.

“I am not in APC, I am a PDP chieftain. But when we talk of development and security, we should leave anything about politics, religion and tribe.

“Whoever is ruling in Nigeria, if he brings any programme that will do away with insecurity, killings.

“And will take care of the welfare of the people, I will go by that. My politics is not a do or die and I play politics without bitterness.

“That is why I am and we Fulani commends the Federal Government for introducing the RUGA project in the country.

“I and our tribe (Fulani) had embraced the programme. RUGA project includes the provision of hospitals, schools, water supply and electricity, among other facilities, which will have a direct bearing on the lives of the herders.

“Apart from that, it will also tackle incessant farmers/herdsmen conflicts as well as boost food security in the country,” he said.

Jibrin also called on the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups to embrace the programme in the interest of national development.

“About 12 states in the North have already embraced it and has already started the project including Nasarawa State.

“So, I am calling on the Southerners, the Igbos, the Yorubas, among others, to embrace it, even though the project is not compulsory.

“The project will keep the herdsmen one, safe and will improve on their welfare as some states in the South East have already promised to donate land for the project,” he stated.

The former senator, however, called on all herdsmen and other Nigerians to shun armed robbery, kidnapping and other negative tendencies in the interest of peace and development.

The PDP BOT chairman also urged Nigerians on the need for harmonious coexistence among Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation for development to reign.

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