…Says it’s the best option to end farmers, herders’ conflicts
By David Odama
LAFIA—GOVERNOR Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has said there is no going back on RUGA programme of the federal government in Nasarawa state, insisting that it remains the surest way to end farmers and herders clashes.
Governor Sule, who spoke on a radio programme monitored in Lafia, did not only advocate for regular meetings among governments of various states, he also notes that supporting security agencies with required tools was the best option, saying “you know what, the only way to eliminate the problems of farmer/ headers is to create RUGA or to separate them. You can’t say that farmers will live in the same place with the herders and have peace because they have no control over the cattle and the cattle need to go into people’s farms. (RUGA )
“The best thing is to have a separate place for them, so we embraced the idea of the Ruga project. We are aware it has been suspended at the moment and we respect the fact that the government has suspended it until it is fully studied. But since we have already received the idea, there is a way we can talk to the people. Though it has been suspended at the federal level, let’s us at the state level find away, even if we have to call it our own RUGA kind of arrangement, That is what we are trying to do. (RUGA )
“My position in the case of RUGA project is that let us go into the root causes of the problems, same thing with the Almajiri system. We are trying to encourage them in such a way that instead of Almajiris becoming beggars and lacking what to eat; we want to take them away from the streets. We are looking at the Almajiri system different from the way they look at it. We want to find something for them to do, educate them so they can be useful to themselves. When they are educated in western education, they can go and acquire Islamic education which is meant for the Almajiri in the first place.”
Regular meetings of various state governments, he said “The number one formula is to be on the same page with everybody, let us understand that lack of peace in Benue is the same lack of peace in Nasarawa, Taraba. Whatever affects Nasarawa State the same thing will affect all other places in Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Kwara, Niger and the federal capital.
A lot of people look at me with surprise when I said federal capital territory. Now the problems of the Shiite movement, each time they are kicked out of the federal territory, they have to go elsewhere and Nasarawa has to be one of those places they look up to move into.
The number one issue is to ensure that the approach to insecurity is thorough. The government must continue to support the nation’s security organisations, have regular Security Council meeting to explain the differences and challenges being faced by various governments.”
He disclosed that his recent visit to Benue State for the two-state governments to work together so that the security challenges confronting the two states could properly be understood as it was the only way peaceful coexistence between the two states could evolve.