There have been many reactions to the controversies surrounding the so called “voluntary” establishment of the Ruga settlement for Fulani herdsmen set to take off in 12 states.
This project is meant to serve anyone involved in animal husbandry but mainly pose as a solution for the Fulani Herdsmen issue with their regional clashes with farmers.
One of the main points of backlash to this issue is that Nigeria is a country plagued with several issues, why is this one a focus of the Presidency and more importantly why is this a settlement plan created in favour of the herdsmen. Throughout Buhari’s first term the violence caused by the Fulani herdsmen killing thousands of Nigerian’s was never punished by the government. No arrests and no form of public justice ever came forth.
Other’s argue that this Ruga settlement seems more like a political ploy of Fulani’s getting new land across the country. Though the plan is optional there seems to be no real benefits laid out for the opposing parties involved.
Fulanis as a people are nomadic by nature. A key issue being left unaddressed is what is to stop them from continually moving across the nation. Taking more and more land and expanding their strong hold.
Well there are many voices that are determined not to make this happen.The Benue state house of assembly has already completely rejected the suggested plan, Titus Uba, speaker of the Benue house of assembly declared that “the Benue state House of Assembly rejects the move for Fulani Ruga settlement in Benue state and instead of support the full implementation of open grazing prohibitive and ranches establishment law 2017”
Amidst all the arguments about the ruga settlement, there have also been suggestions, one of which is to create a way of life for the Fulani’s in the North where they are historically indigenous to. As said plainly by Mr Nicholas Ossai, a House Representative for Delta State “ The Fulani — are indigenous to these areas but they are not indigenous to the South. They should be able to localise the people based on their way of life rather than spreading it to all parts of the country.”
As for now, the Ruga settlement is already laced with these glaring issues that may unfold as the test goes on for this system in 12 states (if they accept them) this will be the marker of how far this settlement will go.