…calls for pastoralists education
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- CIVIL Society Organisations, CSOs, Wednesday, hailed the Federal Government over announcement on suspension of controversial Ruga project in the country.
In its reaction to the suspension of the Ruga project, the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, described the suspension as welcomed decision by the government.
Obi also stated that cattle rearing is farming, and ranching should be localized where the farmers are resident in order for their children to also have access to basic education, and they could also use the land there for grass cultivation and generate income from that as well.
She said: “On Ruga, the suspension is welcome. I think people should take responsibility, for us, we believe in the quality of all human beings. Children have the rights to every basic needs and the Federal Government needs to think of investing in Nigeria children.
“Cattle rearing is farming, and ranching should be localized where the farmers are resident. In civilized countries including countries in Southern Africa, the grass is harvested and shipped to the farms during the dry season.
“Farmers need to invest in the food for animals just like feeds for chicken. Someone gave analysis of utilizing Sambisa forest which can take 18 times the population of cows in Nigeria. That is a historic place turned to a field of horror, then schools can be built so that all children can go to school.
“The style being adopted looks more like invasion and against the autonomy/jurisdiction of states. There is no need for crisis, people who need beef will always go to the market for cows which is all over the country.”
She also stressed that, “Every citizen has a right to a life of dignity, herdsmen are human beings and should be treated so. Taking them to a land and make them wonder is not good for the family but a ranch in the home of origin will give them their lives back. Remember that women and children go along on this journey.
“There is need for pastorilarism education. East Africa is quite advance in that as you have the Masai land in their own land and it is free grazing land with no farming at all, so no conflict. The government should focus on making the lives of Nigerians better, and we have enough crisis to handle at the moment”, she added.
Meanwhile, human right activist and convener, Concerned Nigerians, Prince Deji Adeyanju, also commended the Federal Government for listening to Nigerians by suspending the Ruga project said it is a step in the right direction.
“We welcome the development with open arms and urge them to bury the idea completely. They should stay with their cows within the confines of their locality and stop encroachment on people’s farmlands. In line with the doctrine of ‘where their right stops is where that of another begins”, Adeyanju stated.