Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Traditional Ruler in charge of Ukum, Katsina-Ala and Logo local government areas of Benue State popularly known as Sankera area, Chief Abu King Shuluwa (Tor Sankera1) has said the suspended Ruga project cannot work in Benue because the state does not have enough land.
Ukum, Otukpo and Tarka local government areas were initially earmarked for the project in the state, a development which generated public outcry in Benue and in many other states before it was eventually suspended by the Federal Government.
The Tor Sankera whose domain (Ukum) was one of those initially earmarked for the proposed Ruga project told Daily Sun on Tuesday that he was never consulted before the said massive land was proposed for the project by the Federal government.
“Traditional rulers are the custodians of the land for the people, so they must be consulted before any government can take over any land. As far as I know, no traditional ruler in Benue have been consulted by the federal government to get land for the Ruga project.
“Until we are consulted, the Ruga project cannot work because we also have to consult our subjects before any land can be given out to any government.”
He said as it is today, Benue as an agrarian state and the food basket of the nation does not have enough land to engage in agriculture as it should. “In any case, where is the land in Benue? Even if we are consulted, in Benue we don’t have land for such a policy because the land is even too small for our people which is why they always fight for land,” Shuluwa stated.