Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Concerned Young Farmers Association of Taraba State, borth east Nigeria on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest against the proposed RUGA settlement scheme for Fulani herdsmen by the federal government in the state.
In a protest latter addressed to Gov. Darius Ishaku and signed by the chairman of the association Mr Daniel Angyu, the group said that the scheme was not only unpopular but was also promoting tribalism and was brewing danger for the people.
Angyu said that the government and people of Taraba state have already rejected the issue of cattle colony during the livestock development program in Abuja last year and coming to impose it on the people under the guise of RUGA was only a way of provoking crisis.
“The RUGA settlement scheme for Fulani herdsmen in Taraba state by the federal government is not only unpopular but is also breeding tribalism and precipitating crisis.
“The scheme is land intensive and considering the current population explosion, Taraba state can not accommodate such added pressure on the fixed land. The people and government of Taraba state rejected the issue of cattle colony during the livestock development program in Abuja last year and still reject the policy, irrespective of the guise.
“Ranches are the only conventional and approved method of testing cattle globally and is the only lasting solution to the incessant farmer herder crisis. The establishment of this scheme in contravention of the state’s Ranches Establishment and Open Grazing Prohibition Law, is a gross violation of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria and should be rejected by all well meaning Nigerians”.
He urged the state government to ensure a strict enforcement of the law which invalidates open grazing in the state.
Our correspondent reports that the young farmers protested with placards and barbers bearing various inscriptions such as “we say no to RUGA”, “RUGA is crisis in the making” “we support ranching” “we reject RUGA” “FG, respect the right of states” among several others.
In the pictures: Mr Daniel Angyu addressing the Press during the protest