Nigeria: PDP BoT Chairman Clarifies Comments On Ruga Scheme

19 August 2019

Abuja — The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Walid Jubrin, on Sunday clarified that his comment on the controversial RUGA livestock policy should be seen as a position of a Fulani leader, and not in the context of him being the chairman of the PDP BoT.

Moreover, he said his party, the PDP, has not taken any position on the controversial RUGA policy, therefore, he has not controverted any position of his party.

Jubrin's position on RUGA has attracted condemnations from the Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Middle Belt Elders Forum, and the Pan- Yoruba Cultural Group, Afenifere.

While further reacting on the issue yesterday at a press conference, the PDP leader said: "Firstly, Nigerians should realise that I am a full-blooded Fulani man-the Sarkin Fulani of Nasarawa state-an elder statesman and an industrialist. I have over two million Fulani people who look up to me as their leader. I need to speak for them, and if I refuse to talk, they can remove me as their leader.

"I am a founding member of the PDP, who rose from a ward leader, local government leader, zonal leader, state leader to become an ex-officio member. I became Deputy Financial Secretary, National Financial Secretary, which made me a member of the National Working Committee (NWC); a BoT member, BoT Secretary and now, a BoT chairman.

"Based on the above, I can make a personal statement on any issue. My statement on RUGA was to my Fulani people as their leader, the Sarkin Fulani, and it was purely a personal statement. It is not connected with my position as BoT chairman or with the PDP as a party."

The PDP chieftain further stated: "I am an ardent adherent of the official decisions of my party, which is yet to take a stand on Ruga. I have never gone contrary to the decision of my party. I am a respecter of the party's constitution."

On what actually informed his position on RUGA, Jubrin said: "RUGA is not for APC or PDP. The two parties accommodate Fulani and herdsmen. There is no need drawing a line between APC Fulani and PDP Fulani. When we talk of Fulani, we are one and the same. Anything that is good for the Fulani people is good for me because I am their leader. But I will never support any Fulani involved in a conflict, killings, kidnapping and any other form of evil."

He explained that the controversial livestock policy should not be seen as compulsory as it is optional for states.

"RUGA is not a compulsory scheme for all the states in Nigeria. The southern states and even some northern states are not parties 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. It is a personal decision of the states, and no state should be forced to adopt it," the PDP leader said.

He cautioned against mixing national security issues with politics, saying: "When we are discussing security, we must not bring politics, religion or tribe into it in order not to confuse matters. I am a Nigerian devoid of any intention to create divisions."

On the level of preparations by his party for the Bayelsa and Kogi States governorship elections, the PDP BoT chairman said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is doing everything possible to ensure that there is no impunity, godfatherism, and lawlessness.

According to him, "All our aspirants in the two states must eschew bitterness so that we would produce the two governors that we will be proud of, as he urged the screening committee to do a good job on all the aspirants."

He added that the BoT is working closely with the NWC to ensure that the right things are done.

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