- Governor Ganduje said the Ruga issue should be treated as a state affair
- The Kano governor said herdsmen must negotiate the terms for staying in a state particularly the issue of security
- Ganduje said Herdsmanship should be a socio-economic venture and not a socio-cultural one
Governor Umar Ganduje has spoken about the controversy surrounding the establishment of Ruga saying it should be a state affair and not a national issue.
In an interview with Leadership, the Kano governor said herdsmen should negotiate with states on how they want to operate without harming anyone.
He said: “I don’t subscribe to calls for Fulani herdsmen in the south to come back to the north because Ruga should not be a national issue. It should be a state issue. If there are fulanis in a southern state and wants to remain there, the constitution has allowed them to remain there. But they should negotiate with the inhabitants of that state under what terms they should carry out their herdsmanship without harming anybody. If you are existing in an environment, then you should not harm the environment and the environment must not harm you.
“That can only exist when you negotiate. You cannot build a night club near a church or near a mosque. You have to negotiate with the owners of the church or the mosque. So, if you want to practice herdsmanship which is ok and beneficial, you must have a symbiotic relationship between the herdsmen and the farmers. Because of climate change and increase in population and the land is not increasing, grazing areas is scarce. You don’t have to be a herdsman now to rear cattle because anybody is free to rear cattle. That is my understanding of the situation. You can remain where you are and run your business, but you must negotiate.”
The Kano governor also said the conflict between herdsmen and farmers can be managed by understanding the genesis of the problem. He noted that some of the herdsmen face attacks from farmers.
He said: “There are three types of herdsmen in Nigeria. The first is those who are coming with thousands of cattle from West African countries and you don’t expect them to carry the food for the cattle. Along the way, they have to cut trees and provide food for the cattle and that creates some problem. They are attacked by farmers and along the line, they have learnt to attack farmers as well. They go about with their families on horses and donkeys and also carry arms and have graduated into being bandits. That is one category of herdsmen who are coming from West Africa. That is an ECOWAS problem which Nigeria should negotiate.
“The second is the herdsmen who are from the northern part of Nigeria. They trek through the north central zone to the south. They normally don’t have alot of cattle like the ones coming from West Africa. Those ones too, create problems because of trekking from one place to the other. The third one are those herdsmen who are born in places different from places of their socio-cultural and socio-religious origin. I am sure that in the south, you can get some Fulani herdsmen who are born there and are not trekking to come to the north, but are permanently there. They also have problems because when their young ones cannot go to school, they can also cause problems.
“This is my own classification and I am doing it because I am a fulani man. So, I know what it feels to be a herdsman and business should not continue as usual. Herdsmanship should be a socio-economic venture and not a socio-cultural venture as it is right now.”
Meanwhile, the Zamfara state government says it will inaugurate Ruga project in the state as part of celebrations to mark 100 days in office of Governor Bello Matawalle.
The secretary to the state government, Bala Maru, announced this at a news conference on Monday, August 26 in Gusau, NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathers that he said the governor will formally launch the Ruga settlement which the state government had already allocated 100 hectares of land from each of the three senatorial districts of the state.
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