Northern governors drop Ruga, adopt livestock plan to resolve clashes between farmers, herders

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The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) to address the clashes between farmers and herders.

This was conveyed in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting held at the government house, Kaduna, on Thursday.

In June 2018, the federal government introduced NLTP as a way of addressing the farmers-herders crisis.

In the communique read out by Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau and chairman of the forum, the governors agreed that adopting the plan was the only way option to address the conflict.

“The current challenges of insecurity which seems to be persisting despite concerted efforts by all the ties of governments was also deliberated based upon and insightful analyses; and the best possible ways to address the menace which is currently bedeviling the region,” Lalong said.

“Consequently the forum resolved to continue to adopt a sustainable and holistic approach towards tackling this challenge in the region.

“It is the forum’s unwavering determination to rescue the region and reposition it to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our people, especially in the areas of economic security and social development.

“On agriculture, the forum was well informed about the National Livestock Transformation Plan and its disparities with the Ruga plan.

”It is expected that the plan would ensure resettling and addressing the dislocated populations in the key conflict zones to enable them become part of the agricultural modernisation process.

”In the same vein, it would provide a mechanism for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation in the affected communities towards a harmonious mutually beneficial future.

”The forum, therefore, adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan which lays out a clear path for modernising pastoral activities.

”It further encouraged other states not included as pilot states to endeavour to join the plan/programme”.

But Samuel Ortom, Benue governor, represented Benson Abuonu, his deputy, said the plan would be studied to ensure it conforms with the state’s anti-grazing law.

“There are seven states at the pilot stage but with regards to Benue, whatever is going to happen in this area of animal husbandry that thing has to be in conformity with the local laws of Benue that is in existence,” he said.

“Principally that law says there should be no open grazing and there should be ranching of animals that anybody is going to rear.

“Therefore as long as the programme is in conformity with our laws then it would be acceptable to us.”

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the plan in Adamawa state on Wednesday.

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