Afenifere chieftain, Yinka Odumakin , says All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu , is one of the promoters of the Ruga initiative which seeks to give free land to herdsmen for cattle grazing and other forms of animal husbandry .
Odumakin drew the attention of Nigerians to Tinubu ’ s speech at a national summit on conflict resolution organised by The Nation and TV Continental with the theme , ‘ Towards an Enduring Peace . ’
He noted that at the event which held at the Nigerian Air Force Centre, Abuja on October 8 , 2018 , Tinubu said , “ The government must help herders gradually shift from their traditional nomadic existence to a more static lifestyle . We have to face the reality that modernity is making the nomadic way counterproductive and inefficient .
“ Unoccupied , isolated land can quickly be turned into grazing areas in the affected states. In the long run , this will enable herders to better maintain their livestock and thus their own livelihood . ”
Speaking with our correspondent during an interview on Monday , the Afenifere spokesman said it was for this reason that Tinubu could not join other prominent Yoruba leaders in rejecting the Ruga programme.
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka ; the Aare Oona Kakanfo , Otunba Gani Adams , the Ooni of Ife , Enitan Ogunwusi; and other prominent Nigerians have all condemned the scheme .
Odumakin said, “ It would be a waste of time to expect Tinubu to say anything on the Ruga matter. Don’ t forget that in 2018 , it was reported in The PUNCH that he said all unused lands should be given to herdsmen for grazing . I spoke up then but he lambasted me .
“ What we are witnessing today is a manifestation of what he said. So, how can he come out today to oppose Ruga ? He advocated Ruga .
“ To expect Asiwaju to speak against Ruga is like expecting a shadow to shed tears . It will never happen .”
The Afenifere spokesman also noted that the Ruga initiative and the National Livestock Development Plan being handled by Vice – President Yemi Osinbajo were not different from each other as claimed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Spokesman, Garba Shehu .
Efforts to get a reaction from Tinubu proved abortive as his Spokesman, Tunde Rahman , did not respond to a text message sent to his phone .