Following the suspension of the RUGA settlement which ignited controversy, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautel Hore socio-cultural organization, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo, has appealed to the Federal Government to give them Sambisa Forest for relocation.
Bodejo who told The Sun that the Fulanis never asked for RUGA settlement in the first place, stated that the facilities for carrying out their cattle business must be provided for them to relocate. He said;
“Whether Sambisa or anywhere, the Fulani can stay. The Fulani people do not fear Sambisa or any forest. The Fulani are ready to stay anywhere there is bush but number one is that there must be water which their cows can drink and there must be grasses for their cows to eat. If Sambisa has all those facilities, you do not need to introduce it to the Fulani; they would go there and herd their cows.
“If you see any place where the Fulani do not go to, it is because such a place does not have water and grasses for the grazing of their cows. All the places like Enugu, Benue and Taraba, if Fulani don’t go there to fertilize their land, nobody will go there to farm.
“The Fulani have settled in many places including the Federal Capital Territory before the farmers came there. So, if the Federal Government could introduce the Fulani to the Sambisa forest, we are ready to go there. I will be the number one person who will go there.
“Nobody requested for Ruga settlement in the first place. The Fulani already have their Ruga. What is the meaning of Ruga? Is it not a place where you have the Fulani houses? So, we already have Ruga but I do not know why all the confusion about all the issues concerning the Fulani in this country. This is because we have grazing reserve areas and people are not talking about it. They initially talked about the cattle colony and from there, they now started talking about Ruga.
“They said they wanted to settle the Fulani in one place but did anybody tell them what they wanted to do? Nobody had any meeting with them on the issue of Ruga but I noticed that there are now desperate people who claim to be Fulani leaders by all means.
“You can imagine, for instance, a Fulani man who has about 300 cows and nobody told him that they want to settle him in one place and suddenly, you started hearing about Ruga on the TV, radio and social media.
“See how innocent Fulani people are being chased away in the South East, South South and other places as if they are not Nigerians. What caused these things is the issue of Ruga but the Fulani being chased away do not even know about the Ruga policy. Even we the Fulani leaders did not know about the Ruga policy.
“We did not know any plan for that by the Federal Government or the Ministry of Agriculture. I have cows for instance and they are staying in Ruga but we have a problem with the cattle routes.
“If they are serious, let them come and discuss with the real Fulani leaders and not those who claim to be Fulani leaders and they go behind to collect bribe and speak for our people. How do you think you can settle the Fulani in one place?
“How many factories from the cow value chain do we have in this country now? If you say you want to put the Fulani in one Ruga settlement, how can you put for instance about 10,000 cows in one place? Do you want to kill the cows?”
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