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NEF Promises To Meet Governors Over Suspended Ruga Settlement.

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called for a universally agreed plan by the federal and state governments which will address the Fulani-herders crisis in the country.

The deputy convener of the forum, Amb. Yahaya Kwande, in a statement signed and issued in Abuja on Friday, called for restraint in view of the involvement of the Northern governors and other respected Nigerians.

Recall that this is coming after the federal government suspended the Ruga settlement plan – a move the Northern Nigeria youths under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), kicked against while giving President Muhammadu Buhari 30-days Ultimatum to reinstate the plan.

The forum said it was necessary for all stakeholders in the nation to remain sensitive to rising deficits in the security of lives and economic assets and do everything possible not to escalate tensions and distrust among Nigerians.

It promised to meet the northern governors and the coalition over the raging issue regarding the suspended RUGA policy.

Federal and State governments must adopt policies and positions which address the harassment of Fulani and their cattle, de-escalation of inciting rhetoric and actions and short and long-term solutions to the problems which could damage the livestock industry, worsen community relations and threaten national security.

“The Northern Elders Forum has followed with keen interest the raging controversy since the federal government hinted at moves to introduce a certain Ruga scheme.

NEF has taken note of the steps taken by the federal government as well as diverse positions adduced by groups and interests from the South and those from Northern Nigeria.

“In particular, NEF has taken note of the representations made at a Press Conference held by the Coalition of Northern Groups on the latest developments in the worrying failure to find solutions to the problems related to the management of the livestock assets of Nigerians, particularly cattle of the Fulani.

The Forum has also taken due notice of the intense reactions which the statement by the Coalition generated across the country. “The leadership of the NEF been contacted by a broad spectrum of interests and opinions to use its position to calm nerves and assist in the search for a practical and fair resolution of the situation.

“Interestingly, NEF has also received the decent and statesmanlike reaction of the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, His Excellency, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State in which he disclosed the Forum’s move to reach out to stakeholders in the matter including the Northern Groups represented by CNG.

NEF also acknowledges that the Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman has also made similar overture to its leadership and a meeting has been fixed for next week.”