Abolish Herdsmen Movement From North To South, Ganduje Tells FG

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has asked the Federal Government to abolish movement of herdsmen from the Northern to Southern part of Nigeria in order to eradicate farmer/herders conflicts.

This is after Governor Ganduje set up a 16-man committee to identify critical areas of settling herdsmen across the state.

In an interview with Channels TV, Mr Ganduje said that the RUGA settlement, which his government has fully embraced, is the only way to reduce the concerns raised and it is a must.

“The Federal Government should abolish the movement of herdsmen from the Northern part to the Southern part of Nigeria because that creates a lot of problems and the only way to do it is the RUGA issue.

“This settlement is a must and to us in Kano state, it’s a task that must be done, because we must improve the quality of lives of the herdsmen so that they become full Nigerians and behave like any other good Nigerian, so that the conflict we are having all over the country can be reduced and at the same time, they can improve the way they breed their cattle.”

RELATED: We Have Decided To Create RUGA Settlement – Kano Govt

The Governor revealed that 72 herders’ children have been trained on modern skills in cattle grazing and all herdsmen across the country should come to Kano state because of the efforts at getting the economic benefits of cattle breeding.

“We have trained 72 of the herdsmen children in artificial insemination and we have constructed two insemination centres in Kano and with this RUGA settlement which we are starting now so that the breeding system of the cattle will be according to the modern system.

“That is where we are heading to, and that is why we are calling all herdsmen all over the country to come to Kano, we are getting assistance from the Islamic bank so that we develop infrastructure for grazing areas and we believe when they converge, it will be a good omen for the state.

“We are already planning to build an ultramodern abattoir here so that the chain can be built right from bottom to top.”

Appointments: Southeast Not Being Marginalised, Says Orji Kalu

 

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu says that the South East is not being marginalized and the appointment of service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari from one particular region is justified.

According to him, security is very important and the president can decide to work with whoever he trusts, irrespective of what part of the country they come from.

“It’s good to also spread the service chiefs (and) I would like for people in the Senate to make a Bill that every region must have a service chief.

“But when you look at it, a service chief is like a personal staff of the president, they are not really constitutionally owned because you can only work with military men that you trust,” he said while addressing journalists in his office in Abuja.

“I can take you down to memory lane, all those who have been heads of state, they did the same thing the president did, there is nothing new.”

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Meanwhile, speaking on the RUGA settlement proposed by the Federal Government, he described the plan as a good idea.

According to him, “it is not an issue for anybody to be discussing”.

He went further to explain how he introduced the RUGA settlement in Abia state during his time as governor and how he provided water, land and electricity for the herders.

Ruga Settlement Controversy Is Needless, Distracting – Analysts

Analysts on Channels Television breakfast show have opined that the controversy surrounding the planned Ruga Settlement by the Federal government is needless and a distraction from the hardship confronting Nigerians.

The legal adviser of Middle Belt Forum, Mark Jacob, during his interview on the programme, said Nigerian politicians are enjoying the controversy which the planned Ruga settlement has raised because it has distracted many from questioning their contribution to the development of the nation.

“The controversy is needless. I see the entire thing as politics because when a government lacks what to say to its citizens on issues that are central to governance, this issue of Fulani is brought up.

READ ALSO:

Ruga: Cattle Cannot Take Priority Over Human Beings – Soyinka

Ruga Settlement Same As Cattle Ranching – Garba Shehu

“It started with grazing reserves, then grazing route, cattle colony, then we went to the National Assembly with a certain bill that took all the time and after four years, we are now talking of Ruga. It’s revolving around a thing that has consumed this country’s unity and cohesion.

“I suspect that Nigerian politicians are enjoying this distraction. It is a distraction from the abysmal hunger and poverty that is eating up the land. When they throw up these things, our attention is diverted to that,” he said.

Jacob who is also a former attorney general of Kaduna State said Nigerians should rather ask questions on the policy drive of the government.

“What is the government going to do about poverty? What is the investment of government on roads and infrastructure?” He asked.

“Power (sector) is dwindling to the barest minimum and we are here talking on Ruga,” Jacob added.

Isa Mafinda, a livestock farmer in his reaction blamed the Ruga settlement crisis on civil servants which he called ‘evil servants.’

He said the lack of continuity in policy triggered the controversy surrounding Ruga settlement. According to him, the controversy is needless because the policy dates back to the era of post-independence.

“It is needless because this thing did not come without precedent. Immediately after independence, two regions set up livestock developing units. One was established in Iseyin, Oyo (by the biggest Yoruba leader, late Obafemi Awolowo) and another at Gindawaya by the late Amadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto.

“Both places still exists till date.

“When Obasanjo launched the green revolution. There was a move to create the River Basins and the purpose of the River Basins was to make provision for a vast of land for livestock activities to thrive,” he said.

The farmer who also owns one of the largest private abattoirs in Nigeria insisted that Ruga settlement is not a new policy in Nigeria.

“Just that Ruga by name is the only thing that is new but the activities that started during Adesina (Femi Adesina, former Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture) is still what is going to happen.”

RUGA Settlement: Benue Govt Debunks Claims By Presidency

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

The Benue State Government has described statements attributed to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Garba Shehu on the Ruga settlement on states by the federal government as false and misleading.

Mr Shehu had specifically cleared the air on Channels TV news at 10 on Monday, that Benue state was not included in the Federal Government’s Ruga plan, insisting that the initiative is voluntary.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Mr Terver Akase, the Federal Government, through its ministry of agriculture wrote to the Benue state government informing it about the decision to establish Ruga settlements in the three senatorial zones of the state.

READ ALSO: Ruga Settlement Same As Cattle Ranching – Garba Shehu

The spokesman added that the State Ministry of Agriculture which received the correspondence replied the Federal Ministry, stating clearly that Benue state had no land for the Ruga settlements, but has land for ranches as stipulated by the state’s open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law of 2017.

“Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu made last night during the 10 pm news of Channels Television. He stated that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom should not have spoken against the imposition of Ruga settlements on his state because, according to the Presidential spokesman, the Governor was not included in the Ruga plan.

“The statement was as contradictory as it was false, misleading and lacking honour.

“The Federal Government, through its Ministry of Agriculture wrote to the Benue State Government informing it about the decision to establish Ruga settlements in the three senatorial zones of the state.

“Our Ministry of Agriculture which received the correspondence responded that Benue has no land for the Ruga settlements. It added that the state only has land for ranches as stipulated by the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.”

He added that the Benue Government openly rejected the Ruga model, describing it as illegal.

“The Benue State Government subsequently made public its rejection of the Ruga model of animal husbandry and reminded those pushing for the illegal settlement patterns about provisions of the country’s Constitution and the Land Use Act.

“If the Senior Special Assistant to the President claims that Benue was not included in the Ruga arrangement, why did the Federal Government send contractors to mount the project’s signposts in parts of the state? If Benue was not included in the Ruga settlements, why did the Federal Government say it has gazetted lands in the 36 states for the project?

 

Ruga Settlement Same As Cattle Ranching – Garba Shehu

 

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has made some clarifications on the controversial Ruga settlement.

In an interview on Channels TV’s News at 10, he stated that the plan was initiated in order to stop the roaming of cattle which had been met with incidents of clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

According to him, there is no difference between cattle ranching and the Ruga settlement plan and no state government has been coerced to be a part of it.

“Let me say that the Ruga settlement plan is the same thing as ranching as proposed by many stakeholders including some state governments that have promulgated anti-grazing laws to the effect that they had banned that practice in favour of cattle ranching.

“Cattle-ranching is the same thing as Ruga it’s six and half a dozen – what really is the difference, why is the Federal Government introducing it?

“It is being introduced in order to stop the roaming of cattle which had been met with incidents of clashes between farmers and herdsmen so everyone had come to the conclusion that this was a bad practice.

“So we want to settle them down and let them do their business there so what is the Federal Government doing other than this… asking state governments if they wish to be a part of this. All the states that have signed on to it, have done so by application and they have met given criteria,” he said.

Read Also: VP’s Office Not Supervising Ruga Settlements – Laolu Akande

Meanwhile, the office of the Vice President had denied supervising the establishment of the Ruga settlements, contrary to a claim by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.

In a statement issued last Friday, the Vice President’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande, noted that the Ruga initiative is different from the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by state governors, under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC).

The council, which is chaired by Professor Osinbajo, had on January 17, 2019, approved the plan based on the recommendations of its technical committee.

Akande further stated that the scheme will be implemented in seven pilot states on the frontlines of the farmer-herder crises which include: Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara.

According to him, other states such as Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, and Edo have also indicated readiness to implement the plan.

The VP’s office also insists that the Federal Government will not impose on any state government regarding its land.

Taraba Youths Stage Protest Over Ruga Settlement

 

Some youths in Taraba have staged a protest regarding the plan by the Federal Government to establish Ruga settlement in the state.

The young persons who took to the streets of Taraba could be seen bearing placards with various inscriptions such as ‘no land for ruga settlement in Taraba’ and ‘Enough is Enough’.

They argued that rather than set up Ruga settlements, the government should tackle Tiv/Jukun crisis, and kidnappings in the state.

READ ALSO: RUGA Settlement An Attempt To ‘Fulanise’ Nigeria – Jonathan Asake

 

VP’s Office Not Supervising Ruga Settlements – Laolu Akande

 

The office of the Vice President has denied supervising the establishment of the Ruga settlements, contrary to the claim by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.

According to a statement signed by the Vice President’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Ruga initiative is different from the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by state governors, under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC).

The council, which is chaired by Professor Osinbajo, had on January 17, 2019, approved the plan based on the recommendations of its technical committee.

Read Also: Benue Youths Protest Planned Ruga Settlement For Herdsmen

Akande further stated that the scheme is to be implemented in seven pilot states on the frontlines of the farmer-herder crises which include: Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara.

Other states such as Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, and Edo have also indicated readiness to implement the plan.

“The plan has six pillars through which it aims to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market-oriented value chain while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.

“The six key pillars include: economic investment, conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery, human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication,” the statement read.

The VP’s office insists that the Federal Government will not impose on any state government regarding its land.

The statement comes hours after youths from various communities in Benue State including Zaki-Biam in Ukum local council, Otobi in Otukpo local government trooped out to protest against the planned Ruga Farm settlement in the state.

According to them, the initiative violates the Open Grazing Law in the state and will instigate violent clashes between farmers and herders in the state.

Security Expert Warns FG On Dangers Of Proposed Settlement For Herdsmen

 

A security and defence intelligence expert, Group Captain Felix Iheanacho (retired) has warned the Federal Government on the dangers of its proposed settlement for herdsmen.

While appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Iheanacho said the move is not a welcome development.

He noted that the communities meant to host the herdsmen were already reacting, suggesting that problems could arise if the Federal Government goes ahead with the plan.

“We have been seeing reactions. Most of the communities and areas where these settlements are proposed are already expressing resentment on this plan.

“I, therefore, think it deserves to be looked into. We need to review that plan because I see it as not a welcome initiative by those communities they are intended for.

READ ALSO: INEC Is The Most Improved Public Institution In Nigeria – Yakubu

“I can see some problems arising therefrom if we do that without carrying those communities along with us,” he said.

When asked if the problem arose from the timing of the proposal or the idea, the security expert replied saying: “It is not just the timing, it is also the idea because we are looking at modernity. Culture is not static, culture is dynamic.

Iheanacho, however, wants the government to synchronize its farming methods in line with international best practices.

Speaking on recent attacks that that ravaged parts of the country leading to the several loss of lives and properties, the intelligence analyst said the nation lacks the political will to address the situation.

He, therefore, urged the political class to “do more. We need to develop the necessary political will and we also need to show concrete action to make sure that we stem this tide of insecurity.”

His warning comes two days after Federal Government announced it had begun to establish “Ruga Settlements” for herdsmen in 12 pilot states nationwide.

The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammadu Umar said the farm settlements when fully established would address the incessant clashes between Fulani cattle rearers and farmers.