It's like spraying deodorant on excreta!!! Danger looms on the horizon. It gets palpable in exponential proportion by the day.
The parallax, inevitably shall snap,sooner than later. The Debacle can be likened to two trains on opposition direction heading for a collision for unnecessary humanly crafted hurdles and tensions from rising from ethno religious, and political sentiments that varies amongst the two trains..

The Purported and suddenly suspended Ruga program to be embarked upon by   the Muhamadu Buhari led administration is opening up many can of worms on how deeply divided we are and unarguably a polarized society we depict.

Ruga is a Fulani word for a temporal settlement for transit herders who settle temporarily and served as a shelter when they return from normal nomadic adventure and mostly the women stay there to make diary product to sell out to neighboring   villages and cities close by.

The northern region has  and still witnesses a lot of conflict between herders and farmers  as a result of climate change, over grazing, over exploitation, expansion, ethnic supremacy, political domination, Religious linings, blockage of cattle routes, amongst others, depending on your understanding, perspective and sentiments.

The establishment of Ruga settlement by federal Government has generated heats with opponents/ antagonist of the program citing ethnic favoritism as the president is Fulani and the word Ruga is a fulfude word, thereby striking fear amongst other ethic groups.
  While the proponents/protagonist of the program see it as a welcome development to arrest the ever spreading conflict amongst the aforementioned.

Advantages Of Ruga  Settlement Program

The livestock industry is a multi billion dollars industry if the over 20 million cows in Nigeria is fully utilized as in other developed nations.
The industry will provide millions of jobs as unemployment is a major challenge to our ever growing population.

2. It will provide revenue to the government in foreign exchange through direct exports and herders Will pay taxes to the government and pay for registration of their diary firms.

3. Diary products such as milk, meat, hides and skin will boost the economy and lower our poverty index rate and improved on GDP per capita.
New breed of cows do make 20-30 litters of milk daily so out of the over 20 million cows, let me assume 11 million are females and 7 million of which have attain maturation stage this will give us a staggering amount of milk per day.

4.Reduction rate in violent conflict and improvement in farm produce: farming activities has drastically reduced due to the violent conflict between herders and farmers. As such, proponents of the Ruga see this as a viable and long term solution to the conflict to the good of both parties and the nation in general.

Disadvantages of Ruga settlement.
The Ruga settlement just as it has it advantages also has it disadvantages as listed below

1. Land tenure system: The Ruga settlement will restrict movement and as such, some classes of grass will elude the cows especially the north which has a different vegetation, soil and topography of which will alter breed,sizes, reproduction and other critical aspect of the population.

2. There is no mutual and cohesive coexistence amongst ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

3. Time and data base: The program is a long term program that need a short term and immediate solution because of the conflict and ever spread of violence which has recorded a lot of fatalities.

Controversies And  Bane of Contention.

Cattle breeding is a private practice and should be treated as one as we are running a capitalist economic system not socialism or communism and government has no business in building Settlement for herders as it will be tantamount to favouring a tribe over other enterprising tribes spread across the country too.

The government has intervened in cash crop production through fertilizer subsidy, provision of seedlings and mechanised farming tools to farmers, loans with low interest rate amongst others. So why not the herder? Why not the livestock industry?

If government build settlements for herders they musts also build machine spare parts sellers across the federation as no tribe is more Nigerian than the other.

Not all Fulanis  are herders and not all herders are fulanis and the assertions that the government is trying to uplift one tribe over the other is false and completely our of place.

The government must provide lands for dog, pigs and chicken poultry farmers as well as livestock industry is beyond cattle rearing.

The government has built and is still building infrastructure across the country from Roads, markets, schools, hospitals, airports etc all for the benefits of it's citizenry who also use it for personal businesses as well, why are we against the herder from benefiting from the government? The herder too is a Nigerian like any other.

If you rear in between the controversies land bane of contention you'll agree with me that both parties have strong and genuine argument as mentioned above.

Possible Solutions.
The government must first and foremost prioritise humans over cattle as both the farmer and herder are humans and many a times the victims of the violence are neither herders nor farmers and a times both patties record scores of lost and mortality.
Industrialization is key to development as Steel is the hub of industrialization and revitalization of Ajaokutu steel is a must.

3. There must be a consensus via compromise as Government must be all stakeholders on board to draft a policy framework for a soon implementable solutions to arrest further tensions.

5. States who have indicated interest should be supported.

6. States  have declined should   be respected and not compelled or worst off forced to.

Mr Kushi Libi Isaac

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