Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has called on the federal government to put an end to the movement of herdsmen from other African countries to Nigeria to curb crimes and criminalities attached to Fulani-herders conflict across the country.
He made the call during the commissioning of 25 housing units of RUGA settlement project at Dansoshiya forest, in Kiru local government, hinting that, “This is the first batch of the housing units of 25 out of 200 units earmarked for construction".
According to him, the call was necessary in order to “successfully and effectively prevent the coming of herdsmen from other African countries, because they come to this country with guns and other weapons which inflame the clash between herders and farmers.”
“That movement is what brings to us all sort of clashes between herders and other communities, apart from with farmers, he stated.
Ganduje said the Dansoshiya RUGA would serve as nucleus of RUGA settlement project in the state, explaining that, “we engage in this project for three fundamental reasons, first and foremost is to avoid clashes between farmers and herders, secondly to avoid movement of herders which is the source of conflict and to avoid cattle rustling".
According to the Governor, criminal activities would be curtailed with the establishment of RUGA settlements, which includes cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed robbery among other criminalities.
“It is absolutely necessary to improve and modernise breeding system for Fulani cattle as it is clear that a gallon of milk is more expensive than a gallon of petrol, it is therefore necessary for us to utilize this great opportunity,” he said.
Governor Ganduje also promised to construct school and hospital in the settlement so that the people settling there could get access to good healthcare delivery system and education, promising that the second RUGA project will be in Falgore forest where a military training ground was recently inaugurated.
Governor Ganduje also invited Fulanis across the country to come to Kano RUGA settlement, assuring that, “other units of the housing will continue as we are receiving more Fulanis from other places.”
The Managing Director of the State Investment and Properties Company (KSIP), who is also the Chairman of the state RUGA Committee, Dr Jibrilla Muhammad, assured the governor that the work done is of good quality, adding that, “we are appreciative that His Excellency does not relent in this project".
“It is satisfying to note that Kano state has excelled in this RUGA project among all other states of the federation. It may interest our governor to know that many Fulanis come to thank you, through us, whenever we are at the site Sir".
Immediately after the commissioning of the housing units, governor Ganduje inspected the Dam project taking place at the RUGA settlement which would, according to the Managing Director of State Water Resources and Engineering Construction Agency (WRECA), Engineer Munir Ahmad Gwarzo, provide “two Million liters of water when completed to the settlement and other towns around".
Gwarzo lamented that “the work started in earnest, but we stopped due to the lockdown brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are using this opportunity, on behalf of the Fulanis settling here and the people of these communities, thanking His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for the kind gesture".
In his brief remarks at the Dam site, governor Ganduje promised that the work would resume immediately after the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Meanwhile before the completion of the Dam we constructed 5 Solar boreholes for those settling now,” he said.
Speaking during the commissioning of the housing units, the Secretary General of Miyetti Allah, Zubairu Ibrahim disclosed that, “Your Excellency, we are receiving messages from Fulani from Nassarawa, Niger, Enugu and Oyo states, among others, that they are coming to join us in this settlement".