RUGA settlement An Inappropriate Approach – Dania, ANN National Chairman

RUGA settlement An Inappropriate Approach – Dania, ANN National Chairman

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 2:32 pm


Emmanuel Dania, Chairman ANN

By Daniels Ekugo

The President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government in its bid to bring an end to the issues of Fulani herdsmen and herdsmen crisis across the 36 states of the federation came up with the creation of Ruga settlements.
The Ruga settlement according to a report credited to the General Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Baba Uthman Ngelzarma, says that the Ruga settlements when successfully completed would afford Nigerians the opportunity to fully enjoy the benefits of animal husbandry.
In the same report, Ngelzarma noted that the cattle breeders also have reservations about the workability of this new approach which according to the federal government is a holistic approach to resolving the multi-dimensional crisis and a component part of the livestock development and transformation plan that is being implemented under the Office of the Vice-President.

Although this approach has come under grave opposition and has been rejected by southern socio-cultural groups including Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo; as well as the Middle Belt Forum have all rejected the Ruga initiative, the federal government believes the approach will bring about the production of pasture grass, water, schools, markets, meat and milk processing and where it can create a sub-sector of the economy and has capacity to create a lot of employment if done properly.

The concern before every well-meaning Nigerian that has rejected this approach no matter how noble it may appear, or sound is the variability of every other programme of this present government and it the same government has clearly outlined in its statement on the same issue the concern of the approach being “done properly”.

On this premise the Alliance for New Nigeria as a party joins other well-meaning Nigerians to reject this approach on the merit of the concerns already expressed by its executors. We believe that there should be opportunities for all to thrive without the interference of government or any group of people or tribe. We believe that the function of government is to provide enabling environment for every Nigeria to thrive and not constrain a part of Nigeria to release their lands under the guise of a settlement programme for cattle breeders.

We believe that the approach is inappropriate. It is robbing Peter to pay Paul. We believe that the federal government can approach this differently by creating the settlements within the lands of the cattle breeders and not further push the crisis through coercion because the owners of the lands to be used for these settlements are also Nigerians and are not less that any herdsman. Hence their lands should and cannot be taken for in order to settle some herdsmen.

We are therefore calling on the federal government to reverse itself and not throw the nation into a bigger crisis through the Ruge settlement programme. It must be said that the owners of the lands being trampled upon cannot be pushed further to surrender their inheritance and heritage for individuals running their personal businesses and the government believes it’s the best approach to bring about lasting peace.

This pronouncement on this approach further confirms the ineptness of the President Buhari led government and its inability to deliver on its fundamental and constitutional responsibility of providing safety and security of lives of property.

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