By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja
The Action Democratic Party, ADP has supported “Ruga” as a socio economic solution to the Farmer-Herder clashes which has engulfed Nigeria, but advised President Muhammadu Buhari to be more holistic in the implementation process such that the plight of farmers is adequately considered.
In a press statement released by its chairman Yabagi Sani said, the”Ruga” settlement or ranching is as old as Nigeria. The growing suspicion and rejection of the policy by Nigerians is the result of loss of confidence in the ability, capacity and sincerity of the Buhari Administration who has allowed the problem to linger.
He noted that in the year 2015, Nigerians voted en masse for President Muhammadu Buhari who being a former Head of State, retired Military General, Fulani and Moslem from the North, personifies the solution to the Boko Haram security challenges during the Jonathan Administration.
He further said Ruga settlement as socio economic solution is not perculiar to Nigeria as countries like Mozambique, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, etc are using it to address problems of unemployment, poverty and insecurity.
“Since 1951, when the first cattle ranch (Ruga) was established in Obudu, Cross River State by Colonial Administration, succesive governments in Nigeria recognise the socio economic benefits of Ruga settlement. As a result, in the first Republic, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Ahmadu Bello established the Akunu in Ondo State and Mokwa, Niger state ranches respectively. Similarly, the Goodluck Jonathan administration promised Miyetti Allah a 100 Billion Naira in 2015 for the resuscitation of Ruga settlements all over the country, but for the policy summersault with the Advent of the current Administration the programme was suspended”.
The ADP however advised PMB to be more holistic in the implementation of the Ruga settlement programme because the reason why Nigerians are suspicious and antagonistic may not be far-fetched from the loss of confidence in the administration which appear to be partial by not including farmers in the implementation process.