No Going Back On RUGA In Zamfara – Governor Matawalle

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle at the weekend insisted that there is no going back on establishment of RUGA (Rural Grazing Areas) settlements for cattle herders in the state.

This comes as Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong disclosed that the northern governors will soon convene a summit on security and education following the outcome of Presidential Policy Retreat at the weekend.

Both governors spoke with State House Correspondents at the end of the retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Asked what his administration’s plans are in terms of tackling insecurity, Matawalle said: “In Zamfara, we will adopt RUGA in our strategy to address the herders/farmers crisis; it is a developmental project on ranch and we are ready for it.”

Lalong, on his part, said that the most important takeaway from the retreat was to tackle insecurity.

“I had mentioned here that when I was elected as the chairman of Northern Governors Forum that my priority is security. So we discussed how to tackle insecurity as presented by the Inspector General of Police, with a lot of contributions,” the governor said.

“The second aspect is education. We mentioned to the President the Almajiri system. So these were the things that all of us have taken in, and very soon I will convene the northern summit for us to collectively discuss; because at the Northern Governors Forum I have already set up a committee chaired by the governor of Katsina to look generally at insecurity in the north.

“We also set up another committee to look at education in the north, and then the prospect of an economic summit for the north. So these are three things which we are working on. Today (Friday), I gained a lot, that is why many of us were here since morning to night discussing with Mr President, and I can see the determination because it’s a way of moving forward.

“These were done by the party and Mr President to prepare the President for the inauguration of his Federal Executive Council members.

“Many of us are also going to copy the same and take it home as many of us have not even set up our cabinets. So, we are also going to do the same and transfer it to our various states.”

On the political will to implement the resolutions of the retreat and other policies, the governor said: “That was why the party set up this, and I think this is the first time the party is bringing this initiative.

“At Federal Executive Council, at the National Economic Council, we will continue to push for the implementation. It is not our duty but we are also heads of our state; therefore, once Mr President pulls the trigger, we will support him and we will also replicate it in our various states.”

Asked what he will do differently in Plateau State in his second term in office, Lalong said, “I have said this on several occasions that Plateau [was in a state of] insecurity but now we have relative peace.

“My state is not one of those that are engulfed in crisis right now. But with this and some of the issues that were raised, I am going to add some of the knowledge I gained today to the current method and also the process I have set in place to ensure we have peace in Plateau State,” he added.


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