Ruga: Herdsmen Break Silence On Suspension Of Settlements
Members of a Miyetti Allah group (Photo credit: NAN)

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has welcomed the suspension of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) projects.

Concise News reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had said the move would help in curbing clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Africa’s most populous nation.

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But many Nigerians alleged it was a plot to “Fulanize” the country.

And on Wednesday, the Buhari administration bowed to pressure by suspending the Ruga settlements projects.

However, while reacting to the development, the President of MACBAN, Abdullahi Bodejo, noted that the body was not consulted before the announcement was made.

“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,” he said.

“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 added that “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.”