By Marie-Therese Nanlong.
Residents of Plateau State have continued to express their opinion following the suspension of the Ruga settlement policy earlier proposed by the Federal Government with a call on citizens to continue to be united and speak with one voice against any unpopular government policies and programmes.
The people however called for vigilance to ensure that the policy is not suspended in the open but secretly implemented to the detriment of other groups in the State.
Among those who commented was a former Member representing Jos South/Jos East federal constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Bitrus Kaze who said, “They called us wailers but they now know that ours was constructive opposition against an anti-people policy. Finally, the wishes of wailing majority have prevailed. Only yesterday, Governor Lalong described opponents of (now comatose) Ruga policy as “mischief makers”, he can now look elsewhere for mischief makers.
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“The Governor and co must now be nursing the wounds of PMB’s nutmeg, a lesson to those who for political expediency, must align with government policy no matter how unpopular. This is the price for blind loyalty. Ruga like its predecessor cattle colony could be resurrected in another name. We will keep vigil and be ready to return to the trenches.”
Yet another, Makut Macham added, “Whether we like it or not, sentiments will always be there. I’m glad government has suspended this Ruga thing. Ruga just makes communities feel vulnerable beyond the level they already are and will make the perceived aggressors feel the urge to be more aggressive because it seems like in Nigeria the aggressor is always given a form of gratification just as in the case of Niger Delta militants and the Boko Haram terrorists group at some point.
“Cattle rearing are personal businesses and herders should be given loans to set up small farms just like the anchor borrowers scheme for crop farmers. Poultry farmers are a clear example of a business model that every livestock farmer should emulate.”
Oliver Nwachukwu feels this is a good time to be a Nigerian as Nigerians spoke with one voice not only on the Ruga issue but also others saying, “Somehow, our voices have been heard and our wishes respected in the last seven days. The Federal Government suspended its planned Ruga as a result of unified opposition of the proposal.