The Ruga initiative has been described as a form of colonialism by Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state.
Speaking with newsmen at the Government House in Jalingo on Tuesday, July 9, the governor said the programme should be cancelled, not just suspended, The Cable reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Ishaku pointed out that Taraba already has a law prohibiting open grazing; insisting that the policy would not have worked in the state.
He added that he submitted a loan request to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to facilitate ranching in the state, but the loan was not approved.
He said: “Ruga is colonialism. It is not about cattle; it is not even about grasses. It should not only be suspended, but it should also be cancelled completely.
“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 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.”
Speaking at the Government House in Port Harcourt when he received the founder and president of Throne-Room Trust Ministries, Apostle Nuhu Kure, Wike said no part of the state would be given to herdsmen.
According to him, Rivers state would not participate in any settlement programme for herdsmen, irrespective of the name given to it by the federal government.