Nigeria: Why I'm Supporting Govt's Suspended 'Ruga' Scheme - Senator Walid Jibrin

19 August 2019

The Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Walid Jibrin has said that his support for the Ruga scheme was informed by his passion for peace, security and unity of the nation.

Sen. Jibrin, who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Fulani of Nasarawa State, spoke with newsmen Sunday, in Abuja.

His position on the Ruga scheme had generated heated controversy in the country including questions regarding his loyalty to the PDP.

The elder statesman explained that the issue of Ruga was not about the PDP or the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that Fulani leaders would not allow their subjects to be involved in killing, kidnapping and other forms of crime in the country.

Jibrin said as a Fulani leader it was incumbent on him to support whatever project the federal government was proposing or embarking upon for the benefit and well-being of the Fulani ethnic extraction in the country.

"I have noticed that my statement on the proposed Fulani herdsmen settlement areas, a modernized grazing settlement otherwise known as Ruga has generated unusual controversies. My statement on Ruga was to my Fulani people as their leader, the Sarkin Fulani and it was purely a personal statement. Anything that is good for the Fulani people is also good for me because I am their leader. It is not connected with my position as BoT Chairman or with the PDP as a party.

"When we are discussing security, we must not bring politics, religion or tribe into it to confuse matters. I am a Nigerian devoid of any intention to create divisions in Nigeria. Ruga is not a compulsory scheme for all the states in Nigeria.

"The Southern states and even some Northern states are not party to the scheme and I support them. Those who don't want it should be left alone. It is only a test programme for those states that want to adopt it."

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