The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has stated his government will not offer any land for the establishment of RUGA settlement, as his administration’s agricultural plans has nothing to do with the settlement being proposed by the Federal Government.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, the governor said the state’s agricultural plans were developed long before the Ruga settlement initiative was conceived.
Obaseki said he would not cede land to anybody as “the state’s programmes as a sovereign state do not run on the back of any external entity.”
“In all the agricultural programmes being executed in the state, the safety, security and prosperity of our people are a top priority and non-negotiable,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has cautioned the state government not to give any land for the proposed Ruga settlement.
The party chairman in the state, Dan Orbih, gave the warning in Benin on Monday.
He said: “Our stand is not political. It is something about the Edo people. We had reports of people being killed, people being chased out of their farmland.
“It is quite disturbing and not in our culture to bring in animals to destroy farms that we labour to cultivate.
“This issue of Ruga settlement can be likened to the situation where you will carry pigs from the south to a complete Muslim community and you say you want to create a space for people who have engaged in piggery to do their farms in a Muslim community.
“That is the same way it is for us in Edo State, and when you know very well it is not part of our culture.
“More worrisome is the awkward silence from the governor when other governors in some states have come out to oppose the proposed decision of the federal government to establish Ruga settlement across the country.”