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Ruga: Abia monarch lauds state government’s restriction on land sales



Ruga: Abia monarch lauds state government’s restriction on land sales


By Ihechi Chigemeri-uwom

Owualah, who is the Traditional Ruler of Umuobasi Autnomous Community in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia, stated this in a statement he made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Umuahia on Sunday.

He said that the state government’s policy jusfied his fear about the large expanse of land acquired by the Federal Government for a trailer park at Umuonyeukwu Village and Umueje Village in Arongwa Autonomous Community on the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway.

He was reacting to a media briefing in Umuahia, where the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Mr Uche Ihediwa, accused him of “malicious insinuations that Abia has already set aside land for Ruga settlement at Arongwa.”

In the statement, entitled, “Truth of the matter: trailer park not ruga,” the monarch described Ihediwa’s accusation as false, saying, “Nothing can be farther from the truth than this smear and aspersion on my name and image.”

He admitted that he took up the issue of the land for the trailer park with Ihediwa and the Traditional Ruler of Arongwa, Eze Edward Enwereji, but said that he never alluded to the Ruga settlement.

He said, “I never alluded to Ruga (which by then was not known in popular lexicon of Nigeria) nor did I maliciously insinuate land being acquired for it.”

He said that he merely cautioned Enwereji on “the need for circumspection, in view of the unfolding developments about cattle colony and cattle route in the country then.”

“My word of caution stemmed from the size of the land involved and the facilities to be hosted in the park,” Owualah said.

He said specifically that in his discussion with Ihediwa, “I shared my concerns and fears with him for the size of project in a land-scarce environment.”

He said that his worry further stemmed from the possibility that the land could be “diverted for the purpose it was not intended in the long run in the unfolding events in Nigeria.”

Owualah also said that he drew the attention of Ngwa Social Club to intervene in interrogating the trailer park at the appropriate quarters.

“As a traditional ruler whose community is contiguous to Arongwa, particularly the two villages in the location of the proposed proposed trailer park, I consider it my moral and ethical duty to protect the overall interest of my people and others resident in it now or in the future.

“That is exactly what I did in taking up the task of drawing attention to the unintended consequences of this decision that might affect generations now and those yet unborn,” the monarch said.

He underscored the need for proper and due consideration by Enwereji and all the stakeholders in Arongwa over the community land donated for the trailer park.

He said that the manner through which the land was donated for the park had been at the centre of the lingering dispute and litigations between Enwereji and the elite in his community.

He also said that the state should have verified and become convinced that due diligence and environmental impact assessment were done, “instead of making scape-goat of me.”

“Portraying me as the villain in a matter I am innocent, by addressing a press conference and using the paraphernalia of state media apparatus to smear me will not detract from the failure of consultation and consensus in a touchy issue as communal land in Ngwaland or elsewhere, no matter the project,” Owualah said.

He expressed happiness that he had been vindicated by state government’s new policy that “henceforth any request from Federal Government for land above five hectares will be scrutinised.”

NAN recalls that the attorney-general on July 17 told a news conference in Umuahia that government would henceforth scrutinise any request for land above five hectares in any part of the state.

According to him, “with the new policy, application for Certificate-of-Occupancy for land above five hectares may be honoured or declined, depending on the purpose the land would be put into.

He said: “The state government’s policy is to scrutinise the application and make sure that it is not something that is convertible into Ruga.

“We have gone ahead to sensitise our communhities to be sure that nobody sells large quantity of land.”

(Edited by Sam Oditah)


Juventus player Rugani tests positive for coronavirus



(Reuters) Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has become the first Serie A player to test positive for coronavirus, the Turin side said on Wednesday.

Juventus said in a statement that the 26-year-old Italy international, who played in matches against Brescia and SPAL in February, had not shown any symptoms of the virus

He was on the bench for Sunday’s home game against Inter Milan.

The Turin side are one of Europe’s biggest clubs with a squad that includes five-times world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently in his native Madeira.

“The footballer, Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for Coronavirus-COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic,” Juve said in a statement.

“Juventus Football Club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including those who have had contact with him.”

Juventus had held a training session earlier on Wednesday.

However, the club said Ronaldo did not take part as he had travelled to Madeira and would remain there “awaiting developments related to the current health emergency”.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, have suspended all competitive activities until further notice.

“The club is currently taking steps to put all the necessary procedures into place,” Inter Milan said.

A source close to Juventus told Reuters that the players would now have to be isolated and put into quarantine for two weeks.

That would mean the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Olympique Lyonnais next week but that match is now in doubt.

The Italian government has banned all sports events, including Serie A, until at least April 3, in a bid to contain Europe’s worst outbreak.

The most recent games were played on Sunday.

On Wednesday the death toll in Europe’s worst-affected country jumped by 196 in 24 hours to 827.

Confirmed cases across Italy rose to 12,462 from a previous 10,149.

Four players at third tier Pianese had previously tested positive for the virus.

Rugani joined Juventus from Empoli in 2013, although he then returned to Empoli on loan. He has been at Juve since 2015.

He played for Italy at youth levels and has won seven caps for the senior national side


Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

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Ganduje receives report on RUGA settlements, says project on course



Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says the state government is determined to implement the RUGA project, meant to resettle herdsmen and boost economic activities.

Ganduje stated this on Saturday in Kano while receiving the report on the establishment of Ruga and Milk Market in Kano State.

According to him, apart from tackling insecurity, the RUGA settlement project will change the socio-economic status of Fulani herdsmen and open new revenue outflow to government.

“Don’t bother yourself with RUGA or whatever name it is called, the fact remains that Fulanis must be settled and enjoy basic social amenities like any other citizen.‎

“They need to be educated. Education is key. We are also thinking of establishing modern Abbatoir, so that haulage of cattle from North to South would be replaced with transportation of processed meat,” he explained. ‎

‎Ganduje revealed that his administration was in talks with the Islamic Development Bank on the issue, assuring that the talk had reached advance stage.

“We are now at the implementation stage of our collaboration, to tell you how serious we are,” the governor added. ‎

Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Dr Jibrilla Mohammed, revealed that they visited five forests in the state before resolving to recommend Dansoshiya Forest in Kiru Local Government area for the project.

According to him, other forests visited were Panyabo in Doguwa, Duddrum Gaya in Ajingi, Dunawa in Makoda and Bichi local governments areas.

“After deliberations and considerations of the aims and objectives of government on the project, the committee settled for Dansoshiya forest in Kiru local government for the initial take-off of the project,” he said.

According to the chairman, Dansoshiya forest has the advantage of being very large with sizeable number of Fulani settlements and good arable land for grass cultivation.

Mohammed said the committee also recommended two model houses of 2 bedrooms, which would be built in form of clusters of six houses.

“The committee recommended other facilities like, industrial borehole, veterinary clinic, dispensary, earth dam, milk collection centre, primary school, Islamiyyah school, Mosque, and security outpost. All these are included in the masterplan,” he disclosed.

On the establishment of milk market, the committee recommended Dangwauro as the most ideal site to establish the Model Milk Market, because of easy access to the milk producing areas.

Mohammed said that in the proposed milk market there would be provision for cold rooms, toilets and stores among other facilities.


Edited by Shuaib Sadiq/Maharazu Ahmed

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FG’s Ruga policy will result in VCD in livestock sector – AFAN



Alhaji Shehu Galadima, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Niger says the Federal Government’s Ruga policy will bring about Value Chain Development (VCD) in the livestock sector.

Galadima made this known on Thursday in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Minna.

“The Ruga policy of the Federal Government, if well implemented will restrict cattle from farmlands and help to avoid farmers/herders clashes.

“Ruga settlement will bring about Value Chain Development (VCD) in the livestock sector of our country.

“It will stop farmers/herders clashes across the country because cattle will not be allowed to stray into any farmlands to destroy crops,” he said.

He said that the roaming of cows into farmlands had resulted in destruction of crops thereby leading to clashes.

The AFAN chairman said that the measure would ensure the development of modern method of keeping livestock as a one- stop-shop.

“We are talking about the VCD in livestock; that is starting from production, development, marketing and consumption of healthy meat.

“We also have the diary aspect and animal skin for leather and other things,” he said.

Galadima said that the Ruga settlement would provide facilities such as schools, health facilities for animals and herdsmen, market, electricity and cottage industries of agriculture sector.

“Other benefits are the establishment of grassing reserve, farms for the herdsmen, portable water for herdsmen and earth dam for the animals among others.’’

The AFAN chairman said that all these and more would bring about rapid development in the livestock sector as a result of the modern technology that would be involved which is different from the old traditional Ruga.

He said that the policy might not be possible to implement in some states due to inadequate land, water resource and other factors.

Edited by Nick Nicholas/Grace Yussuf

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RUGA settlement to cost N8.6bn in Zamfara – Gov.



,  Zamfara  government says it will spend N8.631 billion for the construction of modern RUGA settlements in the state.

Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara made this known on Wednesday during the inauguration of the construction of one of the three pilot RUGA settlements at the hometown of the governor in Maradun Local Government headquarters, Zamfara.

He said that each of the three pilot Ruga settlements, which would be situated in each of the three senatorial districts, would cost N2.877 billion.

According to him, each settlement will be fitted with 210 two and three bedroom houses, western and Islamiyya schools, earth dams, grazing land and mosques.

Other facilities to be provided will include police stations, 130 shops and mini markets, livestock markets, diary collection and social centres, roads and drainages among others.

Matawalle, who celebrated his 100 days in office with the official foundation-laying of the RUGA settlement said the activity would also witness medical outreach to both Fulanis and their animals throughout the state.

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, who commended the initiative, said that RUGA as an acronym for Rural Grazing Area was formed since pre-colonial era for improved pastoral and farming growth.

He described as unfortunate the crises between herders and farming communities, saying the modern RUGA settlement to be established by the Zamfara government would go a long way in addressing the conflict.

“In Sokoto, I have 19 RUGA settlements, 10 of which have modern social welfare facilities, which we will continue to improve upon,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the foundation-laying of the RUGA scheme is one of the high points of the 100 days in office celebration of the Matawalle-led administration in Zamfara. (NAN)

Edited By Adeboye Ajayi/Grace Yussuf

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CAN kicks against RUGA settlement in Nigeria



The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the Federal Government to jettison the planned RUGA scheme, saying the association was opposed to the implementation of the programme anywhere in Nigeria.

On May 21, the Federal Government approved what it termed the RUGA settlement scheme, to curb open grazing of animals nationwide.

RUGA entails the settlement of animals by farmers in an organised place with the provision of necessary amenities.

The President of CAN, Pastor Samson Ayokunle, announced the position of the association at a church leaders’ summit in Lagos on Saturday.

“We, the Christian body call on the Federal Government to immediately suspend and abrogate the RUGA settlement programme,’’Ayokunle stated.

According to him, anything that smacks of mutual distrust should be avoided in the interest of national unity.

He said also that the perception by many Christians that CAN had not been showing enough interest in national issues was wrong.

“Let me state it here that our position, although it may differ from that of government is not opposition but a way of helping those in government.

“Our position is a way of helping those in government by calling their attention to the dangers that may come from the proposed action if adequate caution is not considered.

“We, the Christian body also kick against the Control of Waterways Bill now before the National Assembly. The Control of Waterways by the Federal Government Bill before the National Assembly should be rejected.

“Waterways in each locality should be controlled by local authorities. God created the waterways there. At most they should be controlled by State Governments.”

The CAN chief advised the Federal Government to intensify efforts on the establishment of modern ranching facilities, abattoirs and meat processing firms.

Also speaking, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, said that he supported the position of CAN on the RUGA settlement issue.

“CAN must do everything possible to let the world know that CAN is one. Whatever the CAN president says is the final,” he said.

The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in a message, said that building of the nation is in the hands of God.

He pleaded with Nigerians to pray to God for supernatural intervention in the affairs of Nigeria, saying: “we need to cry to God to help Nigeria.”

Osinbajo was represented by the Chaplain of Aso Rock Chapel, Pastor Sheyi Malomo.

Church leaders at the summit include Pastor Felix Omobude, President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.

Elder Napo Emuchey, President of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Rev. S.T.V. Adegbite, President of the Christian Council of Nigeria and Benebo Fubara-Manuel, among others.

Edited by Silas Nwoha

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Zamfara govt. to make use of agro rangers in RUGA settlement



Zamfara state government says it will make used of Agro Rangers Unit of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the modern RUGA settlement to ensure harmony among the headers and farmers.

The State Governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, made the disclosure while receiving the personnel that was specially trained to handle the unit’s operation in the state.

Matawalle said interactive section would be organised to educated farmers and Fulani headers on the role of the agro rangers in maintaining peace and security in RUGA settlement.

He said the establishment of the unit is timely, considering the needs of the state in creating understanding between the conflicting groups.

Earlier in his remarks, the State Commander NSCDC, Aliyu Garba said he was there to intimate the governor on successful completion of the personnel training and their readiness for formal inauguration.

He said that the unit was introduced to checkmate the activities of farmers and harders around the grassing areas.

According to him, the formation of the unit in the command is in line with the Federal Government directives to introduce a special department in the corps to handle the security of grassing areas.

He assured that the personnel had acquired all the necessary skills and talent to ensure peace and security of the areas.

Edited by Felix Ajide


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Gov. Matawalle receives Ruga master plan, directs immediate implementation



Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has ordered for the immediate commencement of construction work on the new Ruga settlements in the state.

Matawalle issued the directive on Saturday in Gusau after receiving the new Ruga master plan from the project consultant, Mr Emmanuel Ozigi.

“This project which is going to be located in the three senatorial districts of the state will be fully and jointly funded by the state government and the 14 local government councils of the state.

“It is also aimed at showcasing to the world that the peace process embarked by this administration is working.

“It is also to show the appreciation of the state government to the Fulanis and its commitment to meeting the yearnings of the Fulanis.

“The Ruga project will not only be beneficial to the Fulanis but all citizens of the state as the derivable benefits are enormous and a way of boosting the economy of the state and its citizens,” he explained.

The governor said that already, the required funds for the scheme had already been earmarked and set aside.

Matawalle revealed that after the pilot scheme which would commence on Tuesday, the Federal Government would come up with its own Ruga settlement programme in the state.

He reiterated his earlier directive on contractors to source for all their materials and manpower locally “so that wealth can go round.”

Earlier, the project consultant who presented the master plan, said the project would include access roads, landscaping, grazing reserves, primary and secondary schools.

Others are Islamiyya schools, Mosques, hospitals, veterinaries, abattoir, social centers, dams and cemeteries.

He said that derivable benefits of the project would also involve empowerment through shops and markets, milk, hides and skin production for export, police station and banks.

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Zamfara Govt to celebrate 100 days with Ruga settlement



The Zamfara Government says it will inaugurate Ruga project in the state as part of celebrations to mark 100 days in office of Gov. Bello Matawalle.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Bala Maru, announced this at a news conference on Monday in Gusau.

He said the governor would formally launch the Ruga settlement which the state government had already allocated 100 hectares of land from each of the three senatorial districts of the state.

He explained that the Ruga project in the state was wider in scope than the original plan of the Federal Government.

Maru said Sept. 2 to 6 has been set aside for the celebration where the state would showcase its rich culture to the rest of the world.

He said that the administration has every reason to celebrate as it was common knowledge that a lot has been achieved in spite of the security challenges.

The SSG said that free medical services, drugs as well as fertiliser would be provided to some selected existing Fulani settlements during the period.

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PDP BOT Chairman supports RUGA



Sen. Walid Jibrin, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged Nigerians to embrace the establishment of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) programme of the Federal Government.

Jibrin told newsmen at his Nasarawa country home on Tuesday in Nasarawa State that the proposed settlement policy for herdsmen would promote peace and security in the country.

He also explained that the programme would boost food security and improve on the health and standard of living of rural communities.

Jibrin, who is also the Sarkin (leader) of Fulani in Nasarawa state, commended the federal government for introducing the RUGA programme in the country considering its importance.

“I am not in APC, I am a PDP chieftain. But when we talk of development and security, we should leave anything about politics, religion and tribe.

“Whoever is ruling in Nigeria, if he brings any programme that will do away with insecurity, killings.

“And will take care of the welfare of the people, I will go by that. My politics is not a do or die and I play politics without bitterness.

“That is why I am and we Fulani commends the Federal Government for introducing the RUGA project in the country.

“I and our tribe (Fulani) had embraced the programme. RUGA project include provision of hospitals, schools, water supply and electricity, among other facilities, which will have direct bearing on the lives of the herders.

Jibrin also called on the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups to embrace the programme in the interest of national development.

“About 12 states in the North have already embraced it and has already started the project including Nasarawa State.

“So, I am calling on the Southerners, the Igbos, the Yorubas, among others, to embrace it, evenhough the project is not compulsory.

“The project will keep the herdsmen one, safe and will improve on their welfare as some states in the South East have already promised to donate land for the project,” he noted.

He therefore called on all herdsmen and other Nigerians to shun armed robbery, kidnapping and other negative tendencies in the interest of peace and development.

The PDP BOT chairman also urged Nigerians to live peacefully irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation for develoment to reign.


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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