The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has warned all concerned stakeholders and individuals championing the Rural Grazing Initiative (RUGA) to embrace peace and dissuade from taking any action that would jeopardize the peace of the country.
Following the suspension of RUGA by President Muhammadu Buhari, there has been palpable tension among key stakeholders taking different positions on the initiative.
Some Northern leaders, including Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, have vowed to go ahead with the RUGA settlements.
Meanwhile, Nnia Nwodo, President-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on his people to get ready to defend themselves, in case the Northern group tries to make good the threat to forcibly evict them.
The group made its position known while reacting to the 30-day ultimatum the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) gave to governors opposing the RUGA settlement programme of the Federal Government to Fulani herdsmen.
Taking a mediatory position, the ACF cautioned all group to maintain peace and refrain from heating up the polity.
A statement on behalf of the group released by Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim-Biu, ACF National Publicity Secretary reads partly: The Federal Government has put on hold the Ruga Settlement program, that it was inconsistent with the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by the National Economic Council.
ACF also shares the concern of the Coalition of the Northern Groups on the plight of genuine herdsmen in pursuit of their livelihood in some parts of the country.
ACF therefore appeals to government to institute measures that would ameliorate the suffering of not only herders but all those involved in the value chain of livestock production.
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Author: Kabir Afolayan