By Dr. Mike Uyi
The neglection of Grazing Reserves Law of 1965 by the succeeding governments after the First Republic in Nigeria has led to farmers and herders clashes/conflicts due to struggle over limited scarce resources such as lands, water, crops and grasses.
The clashes/conflicts made the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the introduction of Ruga settlements plan in Nigeria.
Governor Abudullahi Umar Ganduje in his wisdom said the country cannot afford to continue to witness senseless killings in the name of Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash over lack of grazing land while we have a place like the Falgore Game Reserve underutilised.
Governor Ganduje made it a priority to ensure that Fulani, notwithstanding their origin, do not face stigmatisation or outright rejection on the basis of their nomadic exploits.
The Kano State government under the able leadership of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje took the lead knowing fully that Ruga settlements plan will increase income generation to people of the area, Kano state and the country at large.
Governor Ganduje has worked tirelessly to make Kano State more attractive to investors and launch initiatives to improve the economy, infrastructure, and unemployment in the state and in his generosity invited herdsmen from across Nigeria to come to Kano and enjoy the benefits of the state government’s new Ruga Settlements.
In September 2019, when other northern govs adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), Ganduje said apart from tackling insecurity, the RUGA settlement project will change the socio-economic status of Fulani herdsmen and open new revenue outflow to government.
Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in July 2019 constituted a 16-man committee for the establishment of Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) to look at the possibility of creating Milk Market for the teeming wives of Fulani herders who face difficulties selling their milk, because of lack of storage facilities, adding that already some private investors have indicated interest to partner with the state government on the establishment of the market.
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje deserves an applause for keeping his promises in inaugurating 200 Ruga Housing Settlements at Dansoshiya village in Kiru Local Government Area of the state for Fulani cattle herdsmen.
The establishment of RUGA by Ganduje is a clear indication that the governor feels Nigeria at heart. This singular act sends hope to the Fulani communities across Nigeria and Africa in general that Kano meant very well for Fulani herdsmen.
In his efforts to keep this dream alive, Ganduje’s administration has sponsored 74 Fulani children to Turkey to study cow milk processing.
In keeping to his promise, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje on June 6, 2020 launched the first Ruga settlement situated at the Dansoshiya forest in Kiru Local Government Area of the state.
The settlement will be a total of 200 units of houses, schools, hospital, police station, earth dam for cattle rearing among others.
He explained that “We engage in this project for three fundamental reasons, first and foremost is to avoid clashes between farmers and herders, secondly to avoid movement of herders which is the source of conflict and to avoid cattle rustling.”
He added that “It is absolutely necessary to improve and modernize the breeding system for Fulani cattle. As it is clear that a gallon of milk is more expensive than one gallon of petrol, it is, therefore, necessary for us to utilize this great opportunity.
He noted that “the second RUGA project will be in Falgore forest where we have recently inaugurated military training ground.”
He called on the federal government to put a halt to the movement of herdsmen from other African countries to the country.
We at the Global Peace Movement International (GPMI) UK commend Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje for taking the leading position in setting the pace for developing all communities in the state and in the country. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is indeed an exemplary leader, who is focused and determined to bring development to his people irrespective of social status.
GPMI congratulates Ganduje for the way and manner he took up this matter by way of changing the approach of the cattle rearing industry, from socio-cultural to socio-economic, with vast economic opportunities.
His approach is highly commendable and exemplary, which calls for replication by other states, particularly Northern states of Nigeria.
With this magnanimous gesture of Governor Ganduje, we at the GPMI are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders to as a matter of urgency encourage all Fulani’s in Nigeria to move to Kano to benefit from this historic project by Governor Abudullahi Umar Ganduje.
Dr. Uyi is the President General Global Peace Movement International World Wide Based In United Kingdom, London.