The Presidency has advised Nigerians to disregard the threat issued by a coalition of northern youths concerning the suspension of the establishment of Ruga settlements across Nigeria.
This was made known by Dr. Andrew Kwasari, a Senior Policy Adviser (Agriculture Interventions Coordination) in the Office of the Vice President, while speaking to journalists in Abuja.
He said, “I think the President has the overwhelming support and his decision has resonated with the majority. I think we should not worry about the threats. They don’t earn my respect in anyway, I can’t support them. My support is for the President and the people of Nigeria.
“Their threat is divisive, I think these people should listen to the majority of this country and above all, accord respect to the office of the President, if they are true citizens of this country.
“The President took the decision to suspend the Ruga policy in the interest and common good of all Nigerians. Are we supposed to be concerned about rallying around the President who has taken a decision or a portion of society that feels otherwise for whatsoever reason? I don’t know whatever evidence that they have.”
When asked if the northern youths who issued the threat would be arrested, Kwasari said,
“So, I’m sure that the appropriate age cues are considering whatever action they will take. What is within my power is to make sure that the President’s directive is obeyed”.
Speaking at a training session held for Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Abuja, Kwasari said,
“The training was informed by the need to build the capacity of the stakeholders that we consider to be pivotal in the peace process in Benue and Nasarawa states.
“If you are going to mediate in these two states in the farmers-herders crisis, then you should be talking to MACBAN and All Farmers’ Association with a view to building and enhancing their capacity on mediation and dialogue.”
“Peace is very essential in the communal peace and dialogue plan. There has to be initiative that will bring about understanding among communities, most importantly among the pastoral communities and other communities in the country. What is missing now is the peace that had existed in the past between the pastoralists and the communities across the nation.”