Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the 30-day ultimatum a coalition of northern groups issued to the federal and state governments to reverse the recent suspension of the RUGA settlement scheme.
A group known as the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) had issued the ultimatum after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered suspension of the pastoral settlement otherwise known as Ruga settlements in preference of the government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
The President ordered suspension of the Ruga scheme after various socio-political groups and individuals from different sections of the country rejected it. The programme had been designed to provide housing and grazing facilities for Fulani herdsmen and their cattle on acquired lands across the country.
“While we warn all state governments that stand against the implementation of the RUGA Initiative to desist and give peace a chance, we place President Buhari and the Federal Government on notice that they must completely stop this raging madness within 30-days beginning from today, Wednesday,” the northern group’s spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, had said in reaction to suspension of the scheme.
The group’s statement had attracted reactions, including the one from the Ohanaeze Ndigbo which described the statement as “irresponsible and treasonable”.
In his reaction on Friday night, Atiku Abubakar said he would not dignify the northern coalition by responding to their threat.
“My position on Ruga is the same as articulated by the Governors elected under the banner of my party, the PDP. My position has been well iterated by our Governors & the PDP is one. I will not dignify that threat with a response. There is no North or South. There is just Nigeria,” said the former Vice President 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).