The Rivers State Government has stated that it will not participate in the Federal Government’s Ruga Settlements for herdsmen or donate land in any part of the state for herders to come and build settlements.
This position of the Rivers State Government was contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, who affirned that the state has no land for the implementation of such a policy.
The statement, which was released to the media by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media, on 2nd July, 2019, further noted that Governor Nyesom Wike has already prioritised commercial agriculture as one of the key areas to address with robust vigour in this second term of his administration, hence all available arable land in the state will be needed to drive commercial agriculture across the state in order to create quality and sustainable employment for Rivers youths.
The State Government, according to the statement, emphasised that it has not given any approval for the citing of Ruga settlements anywhere in Rivers State, even as it added that no such approval will come from the Rivers State Government for the Ruga project.
The Statement then reiterated the unshakable resolve of Governor Nyesom Wike to continue to defend the interest of Rivers people who have overwhelmingly rejected Cattle Colonies, Ruga Settlements and any such policy.
Finally, the statement advised Rivers indigenes to join the State Government to protect all arable lands by immediately reporting any form of encroachment under whatever guise, in any area where such encroachment is noticed, in the state.