The Benue State house of Assembly has condemned recent plans by the Federal Government to establish Ruga settlements across the country.
Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Titus Uba, at a media briefing, told journalists that contrary to the claims that it would stop open-grazing by herdsmen and end the herders-farmers crisis, the FG has no constitutional powers to allocate land for the establishment of Ruga-Fulani settlements.
“It is with deep sense of patriotism and genuine concern for the welfare of the people of Benue state that I rise to condemn in strong terms, recent plans by the Federal Government to establish a Ruga settlement across the country which has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which the FG claimed, will stop open grazing by Herdsmen and end herders/farmers crisis across the country.
“I hereby clearly state that the FG cannot freely allocate land for the establishment of Ruga Fulani settlement in Benue state and the Benue State Government will not give out the land for the Ruga initiative; even as there is inadequate land to meet the farming needs of the agrarian communities in the state.”
Honourable Uba further stated the position of the state Assembly, while showing support to the full implementation of the open grazing law.
“Therefore, the 9th Benue State House of Assembly as a parliament condemns in totality plans by any individual, group of the Federal Government to allocate any portion of land within the Benue territory for such a questionable project, instead support the full implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 as ranching remains global best practice.
“I hereby categorically state that the BSHA reject the move for Fulani Ruga settlement in Benue state, and instead, support the full implementation of the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law 2017, as ranching remains a global best practice.
“Benue House is 100% in support of Governor Samuel Ortom and the people of the state on the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law as a panacea for ending herders/farmers conflict.”
Youths from various Benue communities on Friday protested against the planned Ruga Farm settlement in the state.
The youths claim that the planned Ruga settlement for herders violates Open Grazing Law in the state and will instigate violent clashes between farmers and herders in the state.