News Analysis: Yoruba, Rural Grazing Areas and Dangers Ahead

News Analysis: Yoruba, Rural Grazing Areas and Dangers Ahead

Friday, June 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria


• Justice Adewale Thomson’s 1969 Judgment on Grazing

By Ademola Adegbamigbe

The swords were out and tempers rose to molten magma point in Ibadan on Thursday, 27 June 2019 when prominent leaderst of the South West met. That was at the gathering of Yoruba leaders and presentation of the Translation of “Awo”, the Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan.

One of the key areas that drew their anger was the Federal Government’s proposed Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA), which are settlements for the use of cattle breeders in the South West and other parts of Nigeria. There was actually a historical parallel to the subjebt matter with Justice Adewale Thompson’s 17th April,1969 Judgment on Open Cattle Grazing – Suit no AB/26/66 at Abeokuta Division of the High Court.

He ruled: “I do not accept the contention of Defendants that a custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of a farm to fence his farm whilst the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and therefore unenforceable…in that it is highly unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing a farm on the farmer without the corresponding obligation on the cattle owner to fence in his cattle.

“Sequence to that, I banned open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquillity and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities.”

People on the different divides can interpret this ruling to suit their own position. Proponents of RUGA may say that it is in order to avoid a situation “whilst the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage,” that they are asking that some areas be carved out for them. The only trouble is that who has the power to carve out lands for the cattle breeders?

Femi Falana

On this, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, submitted: “Our attention has been drawn to the report that the federal government has concluded arrangements to build RUGA or cattle colony in each state of the federation. As usual, the federal government has not denied the embarrassing story.

“It is pertinent to point out that the Supreme Court has held that the entire land in each state of the federation is vested in the governor. As far as the Land Use Act is concerned, the federal government has no control over any land outside the federal capital territory. Therefore, Nigerians should rest assured that the federal government cannot forcefully acquire any land for RUGA or ranch in any state without the consent of the governor.”

Falana added: “Theses things are getting scarier by the day. The Ilajes and some Ijaws etc are also nomads, why don’t we create fish colonies for them by the rivers across the country? I pray this doesn’t implode us.”

“In the 1st republic, the Awolowo regime had a ranch at Akunnu (Ondo state), Ahmadu Bello’s government had a ranch in Mokwa (Niger state) while the Azikwe regime administration had Obudu cattle ranch (Cross River State). In the 2nd republic, Gov Ajasin built a dairy farm in Ikun (Ekiti state). All the ranches were ruined by former military dictators. Today, the south west consumes 10,000 heads of cattle daily. Lagos alone consumes about 6,000. What stops the Oodua group from setting up a ranch to supply meat in the south west? The meat sold by Shoprite (in 25 mauls) is prepared in an abbatoir in Ikenne, ogun state.”

Right now, individuals from the South West own their own modern ranches. an example is a small ranch at ogbomoso owned by Bode Adetoyi from Ekiti state. The way the cows on his farm look robust like this reared in Brazil, US or Australia made Igbonekwu Ogazimora, a senior journalist, social critic and administrator to throw in a joke: “This is what cows for meat should be. Those who prefer ponmo can go for any other.” See the photographs below

A small ranch at ogbomoso owned by Bode Adetoyi from Ekiti state

A small ranch at Ogbomoso owned by Bode Adetoyi from Ekiti state2

To Kehinde Oluboyede, another commentator: “I don’t know why some people will choose to be 200 years behind. Ranching has been practiced for thousands of years, since the days of Abraham. And it gives far better yield. But some people will rather rear their cows from Sokoto to Umuahia, destroying other people’s means of livelihood, killing and maiming anything along the line. And they will start arguing about tradition and history, why aren’t they going about butt naked, after all our ancestors were once like that. This can’t continue.”

Even if state governments, for whatever reason, should allocate lands for cattle, the security problems that this may cause is what has been giving people real concern. People in this category cite Southeren Kaduna, saying the Fulani were settled there and “they now want to turn it into an emirate. Right now, Fulani herders behave as if nothing can put them in check. A few examples gathered by TheNEWS will suffice here. In fact, Ifedayo Babalola, writer and public intellectual, sounds a note of warning: “The irony of it all is that it is largely Southern Nigeria that sustains the cattle industry in this country. The Igbo proverb is quite apt in these circumstances that ‘The death which will kill a man begins as an appetite.’’’

In a village in Ekiti, a civil servant who supplements his income with farming and who does not want his name mentioned narrated how a Fulani herded his cattle on his farm to eat up his vegetable and cassava. “When I complained to him,” the man told TheNEWS, “the cattle owner replied, ‘oko kini (what farm?). Some of the cattle rearers, having been around for long, speak Yoruba.

There was another case in one of the Ekiti villages. The cows did not stop at eating a farmer’s cassava, the Fulani cattle rearer went further to uproot the tubers to feed them. The farm owner made a beeline for the Police station where some cops told him point blank: “You had better leave those cattle rearers alone. We cannot stop them. We cannot arresrt them either.” A woman who was raped by some of the bandits at one of the federal medical centres has, out fear, sought transfer outside the state. Worse still, before the just concluded Yoruba conference, a professor who was to participate escaped being kidnapped and he was reportedly told by the Police that there was nothing they could do about the criminals! The situation is that bad.”

From left, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi111, and Oyo State Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Aderemi Olaniyan

That is why at the Ibadan conference, a Yoruba leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo was hard on the Federal Government. In his words: “At 90 years of age, one should not fear death again. I will say what I want to say, if they like let them come and arrest me tomorrow. Buhari is behind what Fulani is doing across the country. If we can’t speak the truth, God will not forgive us. Buhari is the President of Myetti Allah. Buhari’s body language is that Myetti Allah should continue what they are doing in Nigeria. Buhari doesn’t want restructuring.

“The security of this country is in Abuja. No Nigerian governor has power over the commissioner of police because the commissioner of police gets instruction from Abuja. No governor can help us because their hands are soiled except Makinde. The Governor of Kaduna State is busy killing the Christians in his state and nothing is done about it. When 800 Christians were killed in Kaduna, nothing was done and no arrest was effected. Look at what they did to Chief Olu Falae in Ondo State. They burnt his house and destroyed his farm”.

In the same direction, Otunba Ayodeji Osibogun, General Manager, Space FM, said that this is the time for Yoruba people to liberate themselves from those that have colonized them the second time, stressing that Yoruba should free themselves from enslavement in Nigeria.

A prominent Yoruba Leader, the Founder of Bola Immaculate Group of Schools, Ibadan, Chief Bola Doherty, pointed out that the right people to go and talk to Buhari is the Yoruba monarchs saying that governors cannot confront Buhari so that he will not deny them of their allocations.

She said, “The Yoruba leaders and the Obas should go and tell Buhari that his name has been destroyed by the members of Myetti Allah. Buhari is the president of Myetti Allah and his people have taken over Nigeria, wreaking havoc and terrorizing. If you get there and they give you money, or brown envelope, reject it”.

Another woman said, “Don’t collect our land. Don’t enslave us. If our governors will not do what we want, then the masses should mobilise themselves and go out. Leave the Obas and governors. Masses go out there and fight for your right”.

The Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, as reported by TheNEWS on Thursday, urged Alaafin to lead the Yoruba out of enslavement, saying that he should not fear death in the mission ahead.

He said, “Politicians and political office holders particularly, the governors have failed us. The governors are no longer for us. We are under siege. I spent 15 years in the North. The North will betray the Yoruba in 2023. Three things are now very important in the South West: the security, the unity and future of the Yoruba Region. There is no room for Fulani in the South West. There is no room for kidnapping. There is no room for rape anymore in the South West. There is no room for terrorism in the South West. Our governors and politicians will not fight for us because they are aspiring to be presidents in 2023. The governors have mortgaged the lives of the generations unborn”.

Now, there is an immigration angle to the whole thing. Nnamdi Elekwachi wrote: “The first and immediate question arising from Buhari’s RUGA/Fulani Cattle Colony program is why, by what justification, and on the basis of which law of Nigeria would Buhari undertake such massive immigration and resettlement of foreigners (West and Central African Fulanis) in Nigeria and on indigenous Nigerian lands. Certainly neither Nigerian Immigration law nor ECOWAS laws permit non citizens to enter Nigeria without passports. Why would Buhari pursue such a most expensive massive immigration program to import and resettle more than 59 million foreigners on Nigerian lands at a time Nigeria I already over-populated and searching for effect ive means of population control?”

Read his full essay below. It is entitled:

Let’s talk RUGA aka Fulani Cattle Colonies

By Nnamdi Elekwachi

The Buhari Administration has commenced construction of Cattle Colonies, rebranded “RUGA” in 36 States of Nigeria. The project has started in Kotongora, Niger State on a 31,000-hectare piece of land. The project will be initially replicated in 12 States with six (6) of such colonies to be constructed in each State.

What is RUGA aka Cattle Colony?

RUGA or Cattle Colony is a SETTLEMENT for Fulani Herdsmen, their families and cattle/livestock. It will contain ranches, grass or feed farms, abattoirs, dairy, meat and skin/leather processing plants, housing, religious houses, schools, roads, power and water supplies and the complete range of infrastructure required to support and sustain an ultra-modern local government area .

Okay, lets talk now


1. Taking a cue from the first RUGA in Kotongora in Niger State, the land size or landmass of each RUGA is at least 31,000 hectares of land or 310 SQUARE KILOMETERS. That is the size of an average Local Government Area (LGA) in many States in Nigeria. The average size of an LGA in the South East is 331 sqkms and in the South West, 574 sqkm. Lagos State has the least average LGA size at 179 sqKm, Imo State has average LGA size of 205sqkm, Akwa Ibom State – 229sqkm, Anambra 231sqkm and Osun State has average LGA size at 308 sqkm just to mention a few. At 310 sqkms in size, a RUGA or Fulani Cattle Colony is the size of a Local Government Area in Nigeria.

2. Buhari’s RUGA aka Fulani Herdsmen Cattle Colony is an exclusive settlement for Fulani Herders and their families.

3. Buhari’s RUGA program will establish six (6) such exclusive Fulani settlements in each of the thirty-six (36) States in Nigeria. In the result, at completion of the program there will be two hundred and sixteen (216) new exclusive Fulani Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

4. Nigeria has seven hundred and seventy-four (774) LGAs decreed in the Military Decree falsely called Nigerian Constitution 1999. Nigeria is ruled by Military Decree imposed by force of arms. Nigeria has had no agreed Constitution made by the people since the Military abrogated the Independence Constitution. Let’s leave the Constitution fraud for another day.

5. The current population of Nigeria is about two hundred million, eight hundred and twenty-eight thousand and eight hundred and twenty-four (200,828,824) people as at 26 June 2019. Given the fact in “4” above, the average population of a Local Government Area in Nigeria is roughly two hundred and sixty thousand (260,000) people.

File photo: A herd boy fully armed

6. Given the facts in “3” and “5” above, Buhari’s RUGA program on completion is projected to increase the Fulani population in Nigeria by FIFTY-SIX MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND (56,160,000) Fulanis. There about Thirteen Million (13,000,000) Fulanis in Nigeria presently which is 6.3% of Nigeria’s population according to CIA Factbook on Nigeria. In effect, Buhari’s RUGA program on completion will see Nigeria with a projected total Fulani Population of SIXTY-NINE MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND (69,160,000), 4.32-fold increase in population.

7. The implication of “7” above is that at the completion of Buhari’s RUGA program, the Fulani will have arguably become the most populous nationality in Nigeria (in todays population figure terms) having outgrown the Hausa (25.1% or about 50.4 Million), the Yoruba (21% or about 42.2 Million) and the Igbo (18% or about 32.2 Million). In one fell swoop the Fulani becomes the majority nationality in Nigeria. The Tripod balance in Nigeria becomes quad-legged.

8. It is fact that Buhari has himself stated that Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists who are engaged in massacres and pillage in Nigeria are not Nigerian citizens. In other words, the Fulani herders are alien non-Nigerians. Governor El Rufai of Kaduna State has also said about the same. Several powerful sources in Nigeria have repeatedly confirmed that the Fulani herders causing mayhem in Nigeria are aliens from across West and Central Africa. Nigerians are generally agreed that the Fulani herders and terrorists engaged in land grab and terrorist activities in Nigeria are non-Nigerians from West and Central Africa.

9. It is also fact that the advent of Buhari’s RUGA program or Fulani Herdsmen Cattle Colony program was preceded by increased Fulani Herdsmen Terrorist activity and land grab in the Middle Belt and elsewhere in Nigeria. It was also preceded by militant advocacy by Miyetti Allah for grazing routes and grazing reserves to be established in the Middle Belt and Southern States of Nigeria in particular. Without doubt, Buhari has himself pronounced the fact that his RUGA or Fulani Cattle Colony program is meant to resettle the Fulani Herdsmen and satisfy the demands of Miyetti Allah!

10. Nearly all States from the Middle Belt to Southern Nigeria vehemently rejected the Buhari Fulani Cattle Colony program and refused to allocate land in their states as demanded by Buhari. Notwithstanding that rejection of the Cattle Colony Program, Buhari opted to rebrand the program as RUGA and to instead, to use existing Federal Government owned land in the States.

11. It is also a fact that in addition to FGN owned land in the States, Buhari has sponsored an Executive Bill in the National Assembly to enable the FGN to acquire all rivers and their river- banks in Nigeria. Nigerians view Buhari’s Rivers/River-bank acquisition Bill as a consistent and integral part of his RUGA/Fulani Cattle Colony land grab.

Implications of the facts of RUGA/Fulani Cattle Colonies program.

The first and immediate question arising from Buhari’s RUGA/Fulani Cattle Colony program is why, by what justification, and on the basis of which law of Nigeria would Buhari undertake such massive immigration and resettlement of foreigners (West and Central African Fulanis) in Nigeria and on indigenous Nigerian lands. Certainly neither Nigerian Immigration law nor ECOWAS laws permit non citizens to enter Nigeria without passports. Why would Buhari pursue such a most expensive massive immigration program to import and resettle more than 59 million foreigners on Nigerian lands at a time Nigeria I already over-populated and searching for effective means of population control?

When the World’s most powerful country, USA is building a wall on its Mexican border to stop a flow of only a few hundred thousand refugees, Buhari does the opposite by throwing Nigerian Northern borders open and using Nigerian tax payers funds to invite and fund more than 59 million foreign Fulani for resettlement on indigenous lands at a time Nigerians are in hunger, penury and hunger.

There is no refugee problem or war in West and Central Africa that could be said to instigate such massive immigration of African Fulanis to Nigeria. Even so, refugees are usually provided temporary shelter in camps, not permanent settlement and such refugee programs are at the costs of the United Nations .

These Buhari foreign Fulanis are not refugees. These foreign Fulanis are in Nigeria in contravention of Nigerian Immigration Laws. So why is Buhari seeking to forcefully legitimise and resettle illegal immigrants on indigenous lands of Nigerians?
Why do these Buhari foreign Fulanis carry AK47 and other military grade weapons freely and openly across the borders of Nigeria and all over the States of Nigeria.

Even so, why have Nigerian Army, Police and Security Services failed and or refused to enforce Nigerian gun laws against these Fulanis? The Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists, Bandits/Kidnappers are known to have been engaged in terrorist activity all over Nigeria and continue to do so.

Why is Buhari rewarding terrorists and criminals with resettlement on Nigerian indigenous lands? Why would government reward terrorists rather than prosecute them? Above all why would terrorists be resettled on the lands of other indigenous nations of Nigeria? Why is Buhari bent of introducing whole 6 new Local Government Areas full of terrorists in States of other indigenous nations of Nigeria? Why would any state or nation accept such terrorist communities of foreign hostile citizens?

The nationality question

Nigerian nations have boiling unresolved nationality questions. It is not only provocation of the most insensitive and inhumane nature for Buhari to seek to introduce exclusive Fulani LGAs into native lands of other indigenous nations of Nigeria. RUGA/Fulani Cattle Colony introduces and creates 6 new exclusive Fulani LGAs in every State of Nigeria.

By implication indigenous Nigerian Nations are compelled by Federal Presidential power to have the Fulani who are alien to their lands to inherit and permanently retain part of their indigenous land as Fulani homeland. Imagine 30 Fulani LGAs planted strategically all over the South East, or 36 of such LGAs scattered strategically all over Yorubaland or in the Middle Belt and South South?

Would Buhari create exclusive Igbo or Yoruba or Ijaw or Idoma or Efik or Ibibio or Urobo or Tiv LGAs in Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara etc? If not why would Buhari pursue RUGA/Fulani Cattle Colonies program against the objections of States of the Middlebelt and Southern Nigeria?

Discrimination comparable only to Apartheid

The Fulani Exclusiveness of RUGA and the use of Federal Funds to build whole new ultra-modern LGAs with facilities not available to the other LGAs of the natives or indigenous Nigerians is nothing short of APARTHEID! Apartheid is impermissible and unacceptable in Nigeria.

Religious, way of lif, governance and socio political implications

RUGA/Cattle Colony is an LGA. With the herdsmen come their families and the full facilities of human settlements. Being exclusively Fulani, therefore the LGA becomes exclusively Moslem.

The LGA must come with Mosques for worship. With the LGA being exclusively Islamic, comes Sharia Courts and Sharia Law, along with Sharia police within the LGA in order to meet the religious and way of life needs of the settlers.

With it comes the need for Emirs or District heads. In one fell swoop suddenly each State in the South East, South South, South West, Middle Belt and other Christian and animist nations, must necessarily legitimise Sharia Law given 6 Sharia LGAs in their States. Inevitably Sharia Law must then be declared and recognised in all States of Nigeria. And boom, Nigeria has become a Sharia country!

Along with Sharia law becoming operational in all States of Nigeria follows Emirates being declared in those States and then demands for more Sharia LGAs and more land and then claims of right to govern the States and so on and so forth!

Legitimate Fulani rights innevitably arise to demand that each State of Nigeria make provisions to accommodate their language whether Fulfude or Hausa in the State Schools and public media broadcasts. The demand for both Sharia Law and dual language in each State of Nigeria would be perfectly legitimate. Why not?

A new ethnic group in Imo State for instance that has 6 LGAs as its homeland plus the original 27 LGAs, would certainly be entitled to have their own language accommodated in Imo Schools and public broadcasts. They will be entitled to vote and be voted for. They will be entitled to have their Sharia Courts and facilities must be dualized to accommodate them and their different way of life. Why not? Are they not also Imolites? After all they have 6 LGA homelands in Imo State. The same must unavoidably happen in all other States in Nigeria where RUGA is implemented, except in Northern States that are totally Sharia Statess.

Their Emirs must seat in the Imo House of Chiefs or traditional rulers and when it becomes one of their turns, an Emir will become the Head of the Imo Council of Ezes! Same must inevitably happen in all relevant States in Nigeria.

In effect, every State in Nigeria suddenly must as a legitimate necessity double up language, culture, judiciary, governance, traditional leadership and all aspects of their lives with the Fulani.

This must be what former President Obasanjo foresaw and accurately described as Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria.

Will Buhari create Igbo and Yoruba Customary Law Courts in Sokoto, Kano, Katsina and in all Northern Moslem States of Nigeria? If not, why not?

Will Buhari also set up a RUGA for the Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw, Idoma and all other tribes of Nigeria so that Nigeria can be “Igbonised”, “Yorubanised”, “Ijawnised”, “Idomanised”, “Tivinised”, “Ibibionised”, “Edonised”, “Igbiranised”, “efikinised”, “urobonised” and “all kind of nized” with all etnic groups in Nigeria and Christianised and ” animistinized” ?

RUGA/Fulani Herdsmen Cattle Colony is outright declaration of Jihad! It won’t work without declaration of war against the indigenous nations of Nigeria and defeating them in a war of conquest!

In RUGA/Fulani Herdsmen Cattle Colonies, his Rivers & Riverbanks Bill and support for and protection of Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists plus romance and collaboration with Miyetti Allah, Buhari is directly and indirectly making and levying war against Nigeria .

RUGA/Fulani Herdsmen Cattle Colony program is the largest illegal migration in human history in terms of its size. It is unprecedented. It is also the greatest Jihad by stealth being executed through abuse and misuse of Presidential power and privillage to not only attempt to permanently enforce Fulani Caliphate colonisation of Nigeria, but also carry out eventual fulanisation and islamisation of Nigeria without open declaration of war against the indigenous nations of Nigeria.

Every indigenous Nigerian has a duty to resist this Buhari Jihad. Any indigenous nation that accepts RUGA is already on their way to extinction from the face of the earth before they realise it. Ask the Housa Kingdoms of the North or the nations of the Middle Belt that have had to live a life of endless wars of self preservation against the Fulani Caliphate perpertual Jihad.

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  • Manny Bamisile says:

    RUGA is a clandestine move by the Buhari regime for the Fulanization and Islamization of Yoruba Land. To your tents oh Nigeria, Enough is enough.

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