The governor of Taraba state, Darius Ishaku, has said the Ruga initiative is a form of colonialism, saying it should not only be suspended but cancelled.
Mr Ishiaku said this on Tuesday when he spoke with journalists at the government house in Jalingo, declaring that the project would not have worked in Taraba because it already has a law prohibiting open grazing.
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.”
The federal government had proposed the Ruga settlement scheme, claiming it will stem the clashes between cattle rearers and farmers.
However, following public outcry and opposition to the policy, the government suspended it.