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Ortom, Fayemi, Others Fault Buhari’s Move On Ruga Herdsmen Settlement     

Ruga Settlement: Ortom, Fayemi, others criticize Buhari for proposing the Ruga herdsmen settlement in all 36 states of the federation. 

Funsho Akinwale

The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; and their counterparts in the South-East have criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s move to secure land in all the 36 states of the federation for Ruga herdsmen settlements.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had on Sunday said the president would not force herdsmen settlement on any state but confirmed that the Federal Government had gazetted lands in all states of the nation.

However, in a swift reaction, Governor Ortom, through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Monday queried the presidency’s statement and asked for proof of gazetted lands in the state.

“We wish to make it clear that no land in Benue State has been gazetted for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements, contrary to the Presidency’s claim.

“We expect the Federal Government to publicly tender documents of the claimed gazetted land in Benue State to put the matter to rest.

“The Federal Government should show titles to the land it claims to have in Benue State, the evidence of compensation it paid to owners of such land, as well as the purpose for which the land was acquired.

“The Benue State Government has already made known its stand on the Ruga settlements matter that the state will not be part of the project.

“This was why the government and people of the state rejected the attempt to impose the Ruga settlement projects on them without the consent and approval of the governor who controls and administers the land in the state in trust for the people,” Ortom stated.

Also commenting on the issue, the South East governors have berated the presidency on the move, noting that the government had not gazetted any land in the region.