The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has rejected the planned Ruga settlements in the region by the Federal Government.
Concise News reported that the Federal Government had noted that the planned Ruga settlements were meant to tame clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
The policy, has, however, generated heated debates with the MBF alleging that it was meant to benefit a particular section of Nigeria.
In a statement, Monday, the body said it will reject the proposed settlements.
“The attention of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has been drawn to the planned establishment of Ruga settlements for Fulani herdsmen all over the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government,” the statement added.
“The plan to establish these so-called Ruga settlements was first unveiled by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammadu Umar.
“In a media interview in Abuja, Umar was quoted to have disclosed that the Ruga Settlement idea was the initiative of the National Economic Council (NEC) that was presented under the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).”
It added that “The final plan is to ensure that same is replicated in all the 36 states of the Federation, including the FCT.
“Going by the Permanent Secretary’s disclosure, no less than 222 of such settlements shall be built all over the country when fully completed.”
It said: “An umbrella body of all socio-cultural groups in Middle Belt Region hereby unequivocally rejects in totality the proposed establishment of Ruga settlements in the Middle Belt, as it is a policy that seeks to exclusively benefit a particular ethnic group against the rest of Nigerians.”
According to the statement, “Going by the insistence of the Federal Government to forcefully establish these Ruga settlements, it suggests to us that the government is on a mission to settle criminal terrorist herdsmen that are behind the incessant invasions of our communities and displacing our people from their ancestral lands, thereby precipitating grave humanitarian crisis situation in the affected areas.”