On the 27th of February 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected for another term of four years in an election that was everything but fair and free. Three months after, the president has not deemed it fit to name members of his cabinet. What is, perhaps more important to the president is RUGA, a settlement for nomadic cattle rearers of his ethnic group.
To say that Nigeria is in a race backwards is to be nice with words. More saddening is the fact that the patients have taken over the pharmacy and are confused as to which drugs they will use to cure their irritant madness.
Insecurity is consuming Nigeria. The roads are death traps. Poverty is at an all-time high with jobs loses increasing daily. Nigeria, from nowhere became the poverty capital of the world. Life is short and brutish. Foreign Direct Investments are at an all-time low. But in the midst of all these, Ruga is the policy of the federal government in the 21st century Nigeria.
The Buhari-led federal government has no articulate economic direction. The country is simply floating on the Red Sea economically, directionless. If only the economy will get the kind of attention the Ruga issue is getting, maybe the president will discover that pension contribution went down by almost 80 per cent due to loss of jobs and high inflation rate. Employers are shedding jobs and are not remitting pension contributions. These are the figures that are meant to frighten Buhari but they are not.
In its characteristic fashion of beating back when Nigerians react angrily to unfavourable ethnic motivated policies/ expansionist and clan prioritization projects with the federation funds, the presidency through the Senior Special Adviser to the President, Garba Shehu said the president is planning the Ruga settlement to curb open razing of animals.
He added that one benefit of the Ruga settlement plan is the reduction in conflicts between herders and farmer. But why is the private business of some individuals being funded by the federal government? Why can’t the people who own these herds of cattle buy lands and create ranches for their animals?
Candidate Muhammadu Buhari came to power promising more that he was ready to deliver. Some of which was to ensure the security of lives and property, a promise which he has gracefully failed as his coming to power have emboldened criminals, bandits and terrorists. He also promised to equip the hospitals in order to stop medical pilgrimage embarked by well-to-do Nigerians. The poor are sacrificial lambs in these hospitals. However, in one fell swoop, Buhari spent over 100 days in a London hospital, treating a disease his integrity would not allow him to reveal. He was only forced back when Nigerians resident in the UK protested. He has one way or the order found his way back into the UK for such purposes.
Yet, it is yet to been seen if children in the UK are in the bushes chasing cows and destroying farmlands.
This paper believes that Ruga will never solve the farmers-herder clashes but will only escalate them.
This paper also believes that the best way to solve farmers-herders clash is through private ranches, a time-tested process that is being practised in most countries.