Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, has thrown his weight behind the controversial RUGA programme.
He urged Nigerians to embrace the establishment of cattle settlement as proposed by the Federal Government.
Jibrin told reporters on Tuesday at his Nasarawa country home in Nasarawa State that the proposed settlement policy for herdsmen would promote peace and security in the country.
He also explained that the programme would boost food security and improve on the health and standard of living of rural communities.
Jibrin, who is also the Sarkin (leader) of Fulani in Nasarawa State, commended the Federal Government for introducing the RUGA programme in the country considering its importance.
He said: “I am not in APC, I am a PDP chieftain. But when we talk of development and security, we should leave anything about politics, religion and tribe.
“Whoever is ruling in Nigeria, if he brings any programme that will do away with insecurity, killings and will take care of the welfare of the people, I will go by that. My politics is not a do-or-die and I play politics without bitterness.
“That is why I am commending the Federal Government for introducing the RUGA project in the country.
“I and our tribe (Fulani) had embraced the programme. RUGA project includes the provision of hospitals, schools, water supply and electricity, among other facilities, which will have direct bearing on the lives of the herders.
“Apart from that, it will also tackle incessant farmers/herdsmen conflicts as well as boost food security in the country.”
Jibrin also called on the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups to embrace the programme in the interest of national development.
“About 12 states in the North have already embraced it and the states that have already started the project included Nasarawa.
“So, I am calling on the southerners, the Igbo, the Yoruba, among others, to embrace it, even though the project is not compulsory.
“The project will keep the herdsmen one, safe and will improve on their welfare.”
He therefore called on all herders and other Nigerians to shun armed robbery, kidnapping and other negative tendencies in the interest of peace and development.
The PDP BoT chair also urged Nigerians to live peacefully irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation for development to reign.