As reactions continue to trail the federal government’s proposal for the establishment of Ruga settlements in some states of the country, the South East Governors Forum has declared that no part of the region would be given out for the purpose of establishment of Ruga settlements, adding that the zone is purely agrarian with limited landmass for farming and therefore, cannot accommodate Ruga settlements.
Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, said though there is no plan for any Ruga settlements in any part of South-east and South-south, the zones can engage in a very good business of selling grasses to the herdsmen in exchange for cow meat.
Umahi who spoke in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, disclosed that the South-eat zone actually proposed a deal with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The governor said under the deal, MACABAN will take their cattle to the northern parts where grazing reserves were established long time ago and rely completely on the grasses grown in the south for feeding their cattle.
Umahi was the Chairman of the Technical Committee on Farmers and Herdsmen, which recommended the revamping of the already existing grazing reserves in various parts of the north to enable farmers have unhindered access to their farmlands while herdsmen rely solely on proceeds from the farmers.
“Umahi was the Chairman of NEC Sub-Technical Committee on farmers and herdsmen clash and he toured the states of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Zamfara and two other states where he made in one of his recommendations to the federal government for revamping of grazing reserves in the north where all the cattle rearers in the south will take their cattle to but rely on the grass that are grown in the south”
“The way it works is that the herdsmen will bring down their cows to the South-east and sell to us as meat while they will load the grasses which are grown here in the same trucks with which they transported their cows to feed their cattle in those grazing reserve which should be made comfortable for them “
The statement also quoted Umahi as saying that with this proposed deal, herdsmen are expected to embrace anti-open grazing by returning to the ranches in the north to do their business on the trade by barter basis by selling cows to the south and buying grasses to feed their cows in the north.