Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The last may not have been heard about Ruga despite Federal government’s decision to suspend the policy, as Northern Governors’ Forum, has promised to engage the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) over the 30-day ultimatum it issued to the government to rescind the decision.
Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, who made the disclosure in a statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen in Abuja, on Thursday, argued that the leadership of the coalition was genuinely and responsibly concerned about the betterment of the whole nation and the well-being of the North.
The forum also assured everyone especially Northerners that what would come out of the suspension at the end of the day would turn out to be more beneficial and in the best interest of the whole nation.
It also promised to work on various benefits that will serve the interest of all both in the short and long terms, urging for understanding and cooperation from every quarter.
“With the ensuing development following the announcement of the suspension of the Ruga resettlement initiative by the Federal government on Wednesday, it has become pertinent for me as chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum to make clarifications on the true position (of things) 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 which allows citizens to participate in shaping and moderating the functions of government with regard to the matter 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 a chance to handle the matter,” the statement read.
Appealing to the coalition group, the governors’ forum stated that “in the meantime, we are happy to announce that we are reaching out engagement with major stakeholders in the matter particularly in the North, 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.
“We assure everyone that at the end of the day, what is 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-sectorial and multi-dimensional benefits that would serve the interest of all both in the short and long terms. We once again urge for understanding and cooperation from all,” the statement read.