The Northern Governors’ Forum has urged all stakeholders, especially in the North, to remain calm and be democratic in expressing their views about the suspended Ruga settlement project by the federal government.
The forum chairman and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, made the appeal in a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Lalong urged all parties to be democratic in their views while allowing the government to handle the matter.
He said that the forum was already reaching out to major stakeholders particularly in the North, after receiving the position of the leadership of the Coalition of Northern Groups.
Mr Lalong said with the ensuing development following the announcement of the suspension of the initiative, it had become pertinent for him as chairman of the forum to make clarifications on the true position in order to calm nerves.
“We have acknowledged the varied responses that have been coming in throughout the hours after the announcement of the suspension which we see as part of the beauty of democracy,” he said.
“This allows citizens to participate in shaping and moderating the functions of government with regards to matters of public interest.
“Meanwhile we urge all stakeholders and all shades of interested parties, especially from the North, to remain calm and air their views democratically and decently while allowing the government chance to handle the matter.
“In the meantime, we are happy to announce that we are reaching out engagement with major stakeholders in the matter particularly in the North.
“This is after receiving the position of the leadership of the Coalition of Northern Groups with the hope of getting the public to fully understand the whole concept and the wisdom behind the decision by the government.
“We acknowledge here the coalition’s concerns and in particular, its decency in urging the northern people to remain civil and resist the temptation to be drawn into anything untoward.
“We are reassured that the leadership of the coalition is genuinely and responsibly concerned with the betterment of the whole nation and with the well-being of the Northern region and people in particular and that it will continue to work for calm and understanding,” Mr Lalong said.
The governor assured that at the end of the day, what was coming out of the suspension would turn out to be more beneficial and in the best interest of the whole nation.
“We are working on a complete package that comes with multi-sectoral and multidimensional benefits that will serve the interest of all both in the short and long terms.
“We once again urge for understanding and cooperation from all,” he said.
The federal government on Tuesday announced the suspension of the planned Ruga settlement project.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s new media aide, Bashir Ahmad, confirmed the suspension on his verified Twitter handle.
He tweeted, “The federal government after consultations with stakeholders has suspended the Ruga Settlement Project, for now, Kebbi State Governor disclosed that after a meeting with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.”
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