RUGA: Northern governors, youths in secret meeting

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Northern governors have held a secret meeting with leaders of coalition of Northern groups, which recently gave the Federal Government a 30-day ultimatum to find a lasting solution to the travails of herdsmen across the country.

The meeting which held in Abuja was at the instance of the governors led by the Plateau state governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, who is also the Chairman, of the Northern Governors Forum, NGF. The delegation of the Northern Youth groups to the meeting Saturday Sun learnt was led by Alhaji Shettima Yerima.

Sources close to the meeting said the governors assured the youths that the herdsmen resettlement programme popularly called Ruga policy is not being abandoned by the federal government but only being repackaged in an acceptable way to all stakeholders under the Livestock policy programme.

While Shettima confirmed the meeting in an interview with the Saturday Sun , the Acting Secretary to the Plateau state government, Mr. Thomas Tokma, feigned ignorance of the parley. “I’m not aware of such meeting”, he declared.

However, while confirming attending the meeting, Shettima said: “We had meetings with the Northern Governors Forum yesterday (Tuesday July 18)) morning under the leadership of Simon Lalong, the governor of Plateau State who is now the chairman of the forum. We discussed the issues with him to a length and I led the delegation to the meeting with him. All the leaders were present. We had a lengthy discussion and he made us to believe that they are working on something that would be of benefit to the herders, the farmers and to the rest interest of the country. They have their blueprint and they are working on it but it had not been produced as at the time we were meeting with him. Governor Lalong is a man of integrity and he assured us on the position of the government even though the Ruga settlement issue was not part of the initial plan of the government but the livestock policy.” (Saturday Sun)

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