Nigeria’s Democracy in Danger, Taraba Gov Cries out


Calls for outright cancellation of RUGA scheme

Wole Ayodele in Jaling

Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State yesterday described the democracy being practised in Nigeria as embarrassing, insulting and lacking respect to the rule of law.

The governor has also called on the federal government to cancel the RUGA settlement scheme to avoid plunging the country into needless crisis.

Ishaku stated this in Jalingo, the state capital, while answering questions from journalists shortly after he received the former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, who paid a congratulatory visit at the Government House.

He said the siege on his private residence in Abuja by the Nigeria police was disgraceful.

He said, “I feel very bad that the democratic government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not living according to the tenets of the constitution. It is disgraceful, embarrassing and insulting.

“I am shocked that only my party, the Peoples Democratic Party condemned the police’s siege on my house. APC didn’t talk about it. Don’t they have governors? Can somebody walk into an APC governor’s house and search it?

“They broke the gate, broke all the doors of my house, threw out my children. I used two years to beg them (children) to come back to Nigeria. Now, one of them has gone back; I am still begging him to come back to Nigeria. This is nonsense,” he said.

Ishaku also called on the federal government to cancel the RUGA settlement scheme to avoid plunging the country into needless crisis.

He alleged stated that the scheme was a veiled form of colonisation.

The governor, who dispelled insinuations that the scheme was at the instance of the state governors, maintained that there is no room for the implementation of the scheme in the state, adding that the state has no land to give for its implementation.

“We are against RUGA settlement and we have no land to give for it. We already have a Ranching law in Taraba which is the best way to resolve the Herders Farmers crisis. So if the Ruga Settlement is for animals, we already have the solution but it is not for animals. It is for something else and that thing is colonisation”, he stated.

He however disclosed that his administration has set machinery in motion to establish pilot ranches in the three districts of the state to serve as a model for other states to copy and has approached the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the funding of the project but the state is yet to get a favourable response from the apex bank.

“Our plan is to establish pilot ranches across the three senatorial districts in the state as part of the implementation of the State’s Anti-Grazing and Ranches Development Law and we have already submitted a proposal to that effect to the Central Bank but I don’t know what is delaying them”

Alhassan who was the main challenger of Governor Darius Ishaku in 2015 and in the March 2019 governorship election had during the visit pledged to work with the governor for the development of the state.

“I believe that leadership is ordained by God and we cannot all be governors at the same time; therefore, I have accepted my fate.

“My visit to you is to demonstrate oneness as we all contested to better the lives of our people but we cannot emerge at the same time.

“It becomes expedient to team up together with you to move the state forward. I and my supporters are ready to assist whenever there is a need for us to render assistance,” she said.