RESOLUTION OF THE SOUTH EAST GOVERNORS’ FORUM ON THE VEXED ISSUES OF THE SUSPENDED RUGA PROGRAMME AND IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL LIVESTOCK
TRANSFORMATION PLAN (NLTP). 9TH JULY, 2019.
1. The attention of the South East Governors’ Forum has been drawn to
the various attacks and campaign of calumny by our people alleging
that Governors of South East have secretly donated land for RUGA
Programme being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and
the National Livestock Transformation Plan, (NLTP) as approved by the
National Economic Council, NEC.
2. The fact remains that no South East Governor has donated any land
or intends to donate any land for any of the two programmes for lack
of enough land in the entire South East.
3. Governors of South East appreciate the fact that we have good and
law abiding Herdsmen who have been living with us; some of them were
even born here. We have been living in peace with them until recently
when we started witnessing invasion of our land, kidnapping of our
people, killing of defenseless natives and destruction of their farmlands. These herdsmen that have been living peacefully with us together with the natives have insisted that these evil as now experienced in our land are the handiwork of herdsmen moving from
other states into South East and most of the time, these herdsmen are
not even Nigerians.
4. Resolution of South East Governors.
a. That we will not chase away Herdsmen who are peaceful and have
been living peacefully with us in the South East.
b. That we agreed with Herdsmen living peacefully with us and the
natives that movement of cows into the South East should be by road
transportation using trailers to their specific cow markets. No more
allowing foreign Herdsmen to move their cattle by foot as this is the
point of conflict with the farmers and natives.
c. That we do not have any land to donate for RUGA or NLTP
programmes but we are committed to selling grasses and by-product of
our farms to support NLTP for states that have keyed into the
d. That we believe that our brothers and sisters who are Herdsmen
deserve a better life and we commend Mr. President and Vice President
for their good intentions in this direction. However, it must be
emphasized that what Federal Government and NEC approved was NLTP and it is not compulsory for all the states BUT FOR ANY WILLING STATE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN NLTP.
e. We advise our kinsmen, women and indeed all Nigerians to please be
careful with comments not to heat up the already charged state of
Nigeria in this regard.
f. The wisdom of economics allows states to develop along the lines
of their economic comparative advantage. In this direction, we advise
the FGN to immediately start the implementation of NLTP in the
Northern States that have accepted the Programme and where we have
large expanse of land. This will surly stop the movement of cows from
one state to the other and put a stop to the crisis and suspicion between farmers and herdsmen. The objective and success of this programme must be viewed along the lines of conflict resolution, welfare for herders, peaceful co-existence among farmers and herders, rehabilitation and reintegration of the displaced farmers/ herders and natives and increase in the wealth of herders, farmers and the nation at large
g. We ask all our people living outside the South East especially in the North to ignore the threat contained in the video message by self-styled Northern Youths. We are in talks with the Northern Governors and their leaders who speak for their people and they have assured us that there is no harm that will befall our people living in
various Northern states across Nigeria.
h. Finally, we advise those drumming for war to remember our mothers
and children and have a rethink. In a state of war, even your friends
could become your enemies. Let us bond together as one people and
start to think on how to rebuild our youths whose future we ate up in
the time past, rebuild our nation whose patriotism we ignored in the
time past and love one another.
God bless Nigeria!
Prof Simon Uchenna Ortuanya
South East Governors’ Forum