Herdsmen react to suspension of Ruga settlement

Herdsmen of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, have reacted to the news of the suspension of Ruga settlement by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ruga settlement is an initiative of the Buhari-led administration which sees it as a solution to the Farmer-herders crisis. It already had 1 pilot states and proposed to be established in 36 states of the federation including the FCT.

However, the rejection it has received so far made many believe the government is not sincere with the policy.

Reacting to the news of the suspension, MACBAN president, Abdullahi Bodejo stated that it was a blessing because they do not need Ruga settlement.

“We don’t need Ruga settlements. Every Fulani man in Nigeria has a Ruga. The entire scheme is political because even the Fulani leaders and traditional rulers were not consulted,” Mr Bodejo was quoted by Leadership newspaper as saying.

“What we need is a return to our grazing areas. Facilities should be provided in them so that the herders can graze their cattle because the Ruga issue is political and does not help the Fulanis in the country.

“We support him (the president) because the programme was not helpful to us. How do you start a programme that a Fulani man with over 500 cows is not aware of?” he queried.

He added that the Ruga settlement plan created a distrust between herdsmen in the south and their host communities who chased then away.

“The Fulanis in the southern part of the country were living peacefully with their neighbours for many years but when this issue of Ruga started, many of them were chased out. There was distrust. That is not good. All the traditional rulers in the North and we the leaders of the Fulanis were not aware of the Ruga programme and we were not consulted. Anything that will make our cows to be destroyed is not good and should not be supported,” Bodejo added.

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