By David Uka, Abakaliki
As Ruga Controversy ranges over the establishment of herdsmen settlements in some states of the country, the South East Governors Forum has disclosed their proposed deal with the members of the Miyetti Allah as panecea to achieving lasting peace among farmers and herdsmen.
Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi said though there is no plan for any Ruga settlement in any part of South East and South South, the zones can make a very good business with sale of grasses to the herdsmen in exchange for meat.
Governor Umahi who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor said there will be no part of the South East that will be given out for the purpose of establishment of Ruga, adding that the zone is purely agrarian with limited landmass for farming and therefore can not accommodate Ruga.
According to the statement, Umahi said that the zone actually proposed a deal with MACBAN to take their cattle’s to the Northern parts where grazing reserve were established long time ago and rely completely on the grasses grown in the South for feeding of their cattle.
Governor Umahi who was the Chairman Technical Committee on Farmers and Herdsmen clash carved from the federal Economic Council under the chairmanship of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo made a recommendation for revamping of the already existing grazing reserve in various parts of the North to enable farmers have unhindered access to their farmlands while herdsmen rely solely on proceeds from the farmers.
“Umahi was the Chairman of NEC sub Technical Committee on farmers and herdsmen clash and he toured the states of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Zamfara and two other states where he made in one of his recommendations to the federal government for revamping of grazing reserve in the North where all the cattle rearers in the South will take their cattle to these places and rely on the grass that are grown in the South”
“The way it works is that the herdsmen will bring down their cows to the South East and sell us as meat while they will load the grasses which are grown here in the same trailer with which they transported their cows to feed their cattle in those grazing reserve which should be made comfortable for them “
The Statement also quoted Umahi as saying that with this proposed deal, herdsmen are expected to embrace anti open grazing by returning to the ranches in the North and do their business on the trade by barter basis of selling cows to the South and buying grass to feed their cows in the North.
Governor Umahi called for tolerance among youths of various ethnic nationalities to solve the problem of hate speech, saying that Igbo youths should learn how not to insult their leaders whom he said are doing everything possible to protect them from any form of internal and external aggression.