THE RUGA SAGA!!!
Days ago, the Internet screamed at the throb of the initiative that will soon blow over our nation, Nigeria. Different opinions, wide perspectives and claims arose at the decision made by the federal Government. Just like that comes RUGA and it keeps spreading like wild fire but today weve received news that RUGA is suspended. While many claimed it is a source of ethnical domination, some said its a sort of islamization while others accepted it as ease and comfort on the part of citizens. Not to condemn or condole one, we would be going through the whole concept of RUGA.
WHAT IS RUGA ALL ABOUT?
RUGA (cattle settlements in Hausa language) is an initiative meant to curb insecurity and incessant clashes between farmers and herders through expanding cattle rearing from northern states to the other parts of Nigeria. It involves organizing cattle settlements into a secluded environment with provision of amenities like hospitals, vet clinics, schools, road networks and manufacturing facilities to refine and process animal products for dealers in each sector of animal husbandry. Before suspension 12 states out of 36 already subscribed to RUGA even amidst clouded skies, this totals one-third of the countrys population.
WHILE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES INCLUDE;
To avoid conflict issues between cattle herders and farmers in case of animals invading and destroying farm crops on farmlands.
To avoid wandering of cattle for feeding reasons which later result to drastic drain of energy and the feed consumed.
To provide infrastructures that will improve the life of nomadic farmers.
To provide employment opportunities and economic boost in the states that subscribed.
To provide green pastures with high quality and hygiene needed for effective growth.
To provide security and stability in pastoral farming.
THE GOVERNMENT STANDS; Below are the said proclaims declared public by the Federal Government even though it caused a wave of disagreement and grievances within citizens. Lets go.
RUGA is not limited to cattle herders alone but animal farmers too, as beneficiaries.
Federal Government propose to curb open grazing in animals to avoid conflicts, reduce the threats and insecurity to farmers and herders through the initiative.
It is an economic project aimed at jobs creation for citizens that wishes to key in the project.
Government insists that its not an imposing act on the citizens but interested states with land to spare.
Government states that RUGA will make life comfortable and increase financial capability in citizens of the volunteer states.
COMMUNAL STANDS; Several communities in our beloved Nigeria have rose to state their protests and resolve towards the RUGA initiative. We have them, below:
Communities across the south ( south-south, south west, south east etc) declined the initiative (RUGA) being active in their lands, they further proclaim that any governor of their state that buys into the idea is working towards the backwardness of his people.
Calabar inhabitants (south east) further insist that they could buy their pastures with the trucks they used to in selling cows to them as their lands their insufficient and they could not afford to spare.
Dismay resulting from previous attacks in the history of fulanis couldnt allow them to accept RUGA into the lands.
Communities insists that RUGA is a form of discreetly planned islamization, colonization and domineering, ethnic domination using political strategies.
Communities insists that RUGA will further provoke more conflicts other than resolution.
Have you thought about the possible influence that RUGA could have on our nation if adopted? The pros and cons of economic effects are as stated below.
ECONOMIC EFFECTS; (PROS AND CONS) (BENEFITS AND DEMERITS)
Provision of manufacturing entities that will process and add more value to animal products.
Employment opportunities in states who have volunteered to participate in the project.
Long term conflict between herders and land owners whilst establishing a domain resulting from fear that they could get to dominate and own their lands.
Adequate pasture and water will be provided within the RUGA settlement instead of the herders to keep scavenging for it.
Eradication of open grazing in animals as it poses threats to farmers should they trespass.
Reduction in inter-conflicts between farmers and herders.
Increased animal protection to increase quality of Livestock and its products.
Towards the demerits of the said economic effects, there are proposed solutions to help perfect the initiative:
THE WAY FORWARD (ACTUAL AND PROPOSED SOLUTIONS)
Lease of land: The community especially land owners are scared of Fulanis taking over their lands, permanently. The whole show can best be avoided If the lands are leased to them for a period of time as it will be easy to cancel the project should crisis surfaces.
Principle of crime and punishment- During the previous administration when this principle was applied it called for an ethnic balance yielding from a resolution between the management of herdsmen and farmers in which an invasion causes punishment in accordance on the side of the culprit.
Provision of loans: An influence on central bank of Nigeria by the government to provide loans for states in northern Nigeria to build cattle ranches for modern processing of beef which would then be transported nationwide as beef rather than cattle rearing.
Dialogue: Hearing out, dialogue, one-on-one conversation are skillful ways of avoiding future occurrences in conflicts. Before punishing an invader, he deserves to give reasons for his actions. This would call for necessary savages as well as preventions.
In conclusion, as much as we have merits and demerits of RUGA, the proposed solutions could salvage situations to prevent a dismal outing, maintaining peace and harmony in the community and Nigeria at large.