.Northern Govs call for calm
.PFN calls for national summit
EMMANUEL AWARI, Jalingo
President Muhammadu Buhari has been commended for taking the right decision for suspending the controversial RUGA project.
Taraba State Chairman, Christian Association Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Dr. Innocent Solomon, gave the commendation in a statement in jalingo, the state capital.
” We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to Nigerians and suspending the RUGA project, by this act has demonstrated leadership and high sense of patriotism and commitment to the Nigerian people as father of the Nation”.
He said this act has given Nigerians hope on the burning issue affecting citizens for which they are crying to God for intervention.
” We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to follow this action with drastic measures to tackle the security challenges of the Nation by doing the needful’’.
He further appealed to President Buhari to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, are protected in their ancestral lands.
“Hundreds and Thousands of Nigerians in the IDP camps should be protected in their ancestral lands where they were attacked and displaced”.He assured Buhari of their prayers for wisdom and divine guidance to lead the country.
Also on Thursday, the Taraba Volunteer Group, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), commended President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to calls to suspend the proposed RUGA settlements for herdsmen.
The group Coordinator, Mr Joseph Terence and Legal Adviser, Mr. Nierus Johnson, made the commendation in a statement in Jalingo.
“We wish to commend President Buhari and the Federal Government for listening to the voice of reason and suspending the proposed RUGA settlements for cattle rearers.
“We call on the government to focus on polices that are geared towards treating everyone as equal citizens of Nigeria in order to deepen democracy and foster development,’’ it stated.
It called on the Federal Government to redouble its efforts in alleviating the sufferings of millions of Nigerians in IDP camps due to various violent clashes.
The group also urged the Federal Government to support the Taraba State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.
It described it as robust and the best approach toward enduring peace between herdsmen and crop farmers.
Meanwhile, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has called for a national summit following the suspension of the RUGA settlement scheme by the Federal Government.
The General Secretary of PFN, Nuhu Kure, made the call in Ibadan during a courtesy call on the National Vice President of the association, Bishop Wale Oke.
RUGA, a scheme designed to settle herdsmen and their cattle on acquired land in states in the federation, is the recent of many solutions offered by the Federal Government to resolve the farmers/ herdsmen crisis in the country.
Kure said that the Federal Government ought to consult widely before unveiling such a scheme.
“The Federal Government should rather organise a national summit in the mould of a confab where stakeholders would converge and have the opportunity to iron out grey areas,” he said.
He also urged the Federal Government to tackle the farmers/herders crisis with tactical diplomacy in a way that would promote national unity.
“We appeal to President ( Muhammadu) Buhari to urgently find means to resolve this situation with fairness and equity in order to prevent a Nigeria that degenerates into a state of anarchy where pervasive lawlessness is the order of the day, ” he said.
The clergyman also appealed to the Kaduna State Government to suspend policies he described as controversial and intolerant.
“The governor should thread the path of reasoning in order not to cause disunity among Nigerians,” he said.
In his remarks, Oke said that the situation of the country was not beyond redemption.He called for sincerity and commitment on the part of the people and the government.
Oke, the Presiding Bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, appealed to Christians to be law abiding and not to relent in their support for the nation both physically and spiritually. (NAN)
Also reacting, the Northern Governors’ Forum urged all stakeholders especially in the North, to remain calm and be democratic in expressing their views about the suspended Ruga settlement project by the Federal Government.
The Forum Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, made the appeal in a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja.
Lalong urged all stakeholders to be democratic in their views while allowing government to handle the matter.
He said that the forum was already reaching out to major stakeholders particularly in the North, after receiving the position of the leadership of the Coalition of Northern Groups.
Lalong said that with the ensuing development following the announcement of the suspension of the initiative; it had became pertinent for him as Chairman of the forum to make clarifications on the true position in order to calm nerves.
“We have acknowledged the varied responses that have been coming in throughout the hours after the announcement of the suspension which we see as part of the beauty of democracy.
“This allows citizens to participate in shaping and moderating the functions of government with regards to matters of public interest.
“Meanwhile we urge all stakeholders and all shades of interested parties, especially from the North, to remain calm and air their views democratically and decently while allowing the government chance to handle the matter.
“In the meantime, we are happy to announce that we are reaching out engagement with major stakeholders in the matter particularly in the North.
“This is after receiving the position of the leadership of the Coalition of Northern Groups with the hope of getting the public to fully understand the whole concept and the wisdom behind the decision by the government.
“We acknowledge here the Coalition’s concerns and in particular, its decency in urging the northern people to remain civil and resist the temptation to be drawn into anything untoward.
“We are reassured that the leadership of the Coalition is genuinely and responsibly concerned with the betterment of the whole nation and with the well-being of the Northern region and people in particular, and that it will continue to work for calm and understanding,” Lalong said.
The governor assured that at the end of the day, what was coming out of the suspension would turn out to be more beneficial and in the best interest of the whole nation.
“We are working on a complete package that comes with multi sectoral and multidimensional benefits that will serve the interest of all both in the short and long terms.
“We once again urge for understanding and cooperation from all,”he said.The federal government on Tuesday announced the suspension of the planned Ruga settlement project.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Media aide, Bashir Ahmad confirmed the suspension on his verified Twitter handle.
He tweeted, “The federal government after consultations with stakeholders has suspended the Ruga Settlement Project, for now, Kebbi State Governor disclosed that after a meeting with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.”
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