Senator Orji Kalu has said when he was governor of Abia state he introduced RUGA in 2001.
Orji disclosed this while speaking to reporters in Abuja on Saturday.
The Chief Whip of the Senate said the recently suspended RUGA was resisted because it was not properly marketed to Nigerians, particularly those in the Southern and North Central axis.
In his words:
“When people talk about Ruga, I wonder.
“In 2001 I did a Ruga in Abia.
“In Lokpanta, I built it and the cows were being sold in Umuahia and Aba.
“In 2001, I invited the Hausa community and they said Umuahia and Aba we needed to decongest.
“Where we have Shoprite in Umuahia today used to be the settlement.
“The same thing with Aba.
“We had an honest meeting with them and agreed that I will provide them land and water electricity, everything, but this would be your location.
“I collected five coaster buses to show them the land and if it is agreeable by everyone.
“I had meeting with the communities and they agreed in Lokpanta and that is the biggest cow market both South East and South South of Nigeria today.
“So it is about the attitude of people to issues.
“Yes, Federal Government should always do very serious and extensive consultation whenever they want to embark on such issues.
“It is not just to go and put a deliberate policy and say I want to do Ruga.
“People in village don’t understand what Ruga means.
“They will panic and say they want to kill all of them.
“Some of us are the largest sellers of cow.
“I started selling cow as far back as when I was in the university.
“I am still selling cows till tomorrow because it is profitable.
“So most of the cows you see are also not owed by Hausa people.
“We trade on cows.
“So people should have information because information is power and power is information.”