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RUGA policy: Northern governors, youths meet behind closed doors

- The suspended RUGA policy continues to be in the news across Nigeria

- Northern governors recently held a meeting with youth groups in the region on the issue

- The meeting was said to have been held behind closed doors in Abuja

Daily Sun is reporting that 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.

According to the report, 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 was reportedly led by Alhaji Shettima Yerima.

Sources close to the meeting quoted in the report, 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.

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While confirming attending the meeting, Shettima said: ‘’We had meetings with the Northern Governors Forum (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.”

Meanwhile, Katsina state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said on Thursday, July 18, that he and his colleagues in the north west zone are working towards amnesty for bandits in the sub-region.

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Masari noted that the zone is one of the worst hit by killings and insecurity perpetrated by armed bandits and that the area needs peace urgently.

He said a united approach is necessary to end banditry in the zone, revealing that apart from amnesty, he was working with the governors to establish an opportunity for dialogue with the armed bandits.

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