By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – VICE President Yemi Osinbajo is currently meeting behind closed doors with representatives of Governors from six geo-political zones in the country.
The meeting which is taking place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja has three governors who are members of the National Food Security/Herders/Farmers Conflict and a Deputy governor in attendance.Osinbajo
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, it may not be unconnected to the controversy surrounding the plan by the Federal Government to establish Ruga settlements for the Fulanis.
Recall that the Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu had recently said that the Ruga settlements across the 36 states of the federation was aimed at bringing lasting solutions to the farmers/herders clashes and also to create jobs.
It was alleged that the office of the Vice President was directly Supervising the Ruga project but Prof. Osinbajo has through his spokesman, Laolu Akande denied having any knowledge of the project.
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Debunking the insinuation that the Vice President is the brain behind the Ruga settlements, Akande said, “The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028 is a programme to be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara (as decided by NEC in January), being States in the frontlines of the Farmer-Herder crises. Afterwards, six other States have indicated readiness to also implement the plan. They are Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, and Edo states.
“The plan has six pillars through which it aims to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market oriented value chain while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.
“The six key pillars include: economic investment, conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery, human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication.”
Those at the meeting are governors of Ebonyi, Dave Umahi, Plateau, Simon Lalong and Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu and the Deputy Governor of Adamawa state, Martins Nasir.
The National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by State governors under the National Economic Council, NEC, is chaired by the Vice President.
NEC had on January 17, 2019, approved the plan based on the recommendations of a Technical Committee of the Council chaired by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.
Other State Governors on the committee and Working Group of NEC are those from Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo and Zamfara – mostly the frontline States in the Farmer-Herder crises.
Osinbajo’s spokesman Laolu Akande, had in a statement to exonerate the Vice President as being the brain behind Ruga implementation explained that: