The Federal government’s plan to establish Ruga settlements across the country for the Fulani herdsmen has been greeted with criticism and rejection across the South West and South East zones. Organisations and groups from Benue state have also kicked against the planned settlements after the failure to establish cattle colonies by the Buhari-led administration.
Social-cultural groups like Afenifere of the South West was vocal enough to describe the Ruga plan as colonisation of the entire country. Its spokesman , Yinka Odumakin, stated that there is not an inch of Yorubaland for Ruga settlement and alluded to former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s claim of “fulanisation” of the country. He went on state that in future the Ruga settlement will morph into full local government for the Fulani herdsmen. He also stated the move was clannish and sectional.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo declared the only solution to the herdsmen crisis is for the states who have excess land to create ranches but that the South East zone does not have land for Ruga or cattle colonies. The Igbo socio-cultural group accused the federal government of trying to use dishonest means to actualise its failed cattle colony project.
Similarly, the three main socio-cultural organisations in Benue State: the Mdzough U Tiv, the Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Omi Ny’ Igede, said the Ruga settlement was another ploy to claim the Benue land. The group vow to resist the taking of their land by herdsmen with their blood. They claim of a ploy to convert the Benue valley as a Fulani territory.