The federal government on Wednesday suspended the proposed RUGA settlements after stiff opposition from many Nigerians.
Here are some strong reservations many Nigerians expressed against the proposal:
· The public viewed the policy as double-edged: After a public announcement the RUGA model was part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) under supervision of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Osinbajo came out to debunk the information by stating the proposal had nothing to do with NLTP and his office was not supervising the activity. This was viewed as misleading and therefore, sparked an outrage among the masses.
· Fulanisation agenda: Some critics perceive it as an attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to give undue advantage to the Fulanis, who are mostly herdsmen. This Fulanisation fear was first raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who alleged Buhari was bent on giving his tribesmen official protection.
Many Nigerians also wonder why the federal government is involved in facilitating lands for herdsmen. Cattle rearing, many argue, is a private business venture that should be financed by interested investors, not government. Besides, they query why government is not showing the same enthusiasm for farmers who have lost more in clashes with herders.
· Killer-herdsmen: The activities of killer-herdsmen didn’t make many Nigerians enthusiastic about the policy. As far as critics of the proposal are concerned, harbouring herdsmen in their communities will exacerbate killings.
· Why not ranching? Many say the herdsmen should be responsible for providing feeds for their cattle through ranching as against the current practice where they invade farmlands and communities to get feeds with killings recorded in many cases. Since the herdsmen make a living from the cattle, many say they should invest in getting them feeds.
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