Nasarawa state governor, Abdullahi Sule has said that the suspended Ruga settlement programme of the federal government for herdsmen is soon to commence in Nasarawa state.
Governor Sule explained that the benefits include a drastic reduction in conflicts between herders and farmers, noting that it will boost animal protection with complete value chain that will increase the quality and hygiene of livestock in terms of beef and milk protection.
The governor stated this Sunday in Lafia when members of Miyatti Allah Cattle breeders association led by Senator Walid Jirbrin who is the state chairman of Ardos in Nasarawa state paid him a courtesy call at his campaign office in Lafia.
Governor Sule said his government is establishing Ruga in order to curb open grazing of animals that continue to pose security threats to farmers and herders.
He said the Ruga settlements will provide necessary and adequate basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, roads network, vet clinics, market and manufacturing entities that will process and add value to meats and animal products.
Other benefits of Ruga settlements according to the governor are job creation, access to credit facilities, security for pastoral families and curtailment of cattle rustling, adding that before the federal government came out with the proposal, he was the first governor to visit the federal ministry of agriculture requesting it’s establishment in the state.
Speaking earlier, Senator Walid Jirbrin who led a large number of Fulani leaders to the courtesy call said that the purpose of the visit is to discuss with the governor about the proposed Ruga programme for herdsmen all over the country and the willingness of the Nasarawa state government to comply.
According to him “the Fulanis in Nasarawa state accept the Ruga project in order to minimize conflict and everyday killings, the Fulanis will therefore corporate with you and the federal government in order to allow peace to reign in Nasarawa state.
“I will fully participate in the project if you include me, the suspension of Ruga project is to allow all stakeholders to ensure that the project is accepted by all.
“May I remind all that cattle rearing has been an old tradition and occupation for herdsmen for over five centuries which I believe needs some adjustments and modernization for the betterment of herdsmen.
“I am always disturbed seeing conflict between herdsmen and farmers leading to the killings, death and destruction of properties realizing that Fulanis have been living peacefully with all tribes in the state.
“There is grazing reserve and cattle path provided which helped to reduce conflicts, lack of cattle path today make Fulanis move on busy roads struggling with motor vehicles and pedestrians. He calls on the southern Nigerians to be calm as the project is being planned assuring them that it is not compulsory as we can see 12 out of 19 northern states have already endorsed it.