Tag Archives: RUGA

FG bans open grazing in Abuja, establishes 3 RUGA settlements

The Federal Capital Territory Administration has prohibited open grazing of cattle in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Administration said it had communicated the directive to the leadership of the Fulani herdsmen in the FCT.

Disclosing this in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, the Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Hassan Abubakar, stated that the one-month ultimatum issued to the pastoralists had expired, adding that violators would be sanctioned henceforth.

The decision of the FCTA is coming against the ban on open grazing by the Northern Governors’ Forum, which described the practice as outdated.

The AEPB director said over 100 cattle earlier confiscated were returned after their owners were fined by courts, adding that any herdsman found grazing his animals on Abuja streets would be penalised heavily.

A special team, he said, had been constituted to enforce the directive.

Abubakar further revealed that the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, had earmarked five locations for cattle grazing in Abaji, Kwali and Kuje Area Councils.

He said, “We held meetings with the leadership of Fulani herdsmen in the FCT and they have agreed on so many issues. We have given them time, which they asked for, and when the time lapses, we will strike. They are not allowed to graze inside the city; that’s prohibited.

Establishment of CATTLE MARKET at Obehie, Abia State NOT Ruga: The true story

We have been inundated with calls, messages, enquiries and our attention drawn to reports in various newsblogs to the effect that Abia State Government intends to establish RUGA settlement in Obehie. In simple sentence, that information is false, malicious and profound attempt by some persons or group to pitch the government against the people.

2. At the inception of the Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu’s administration in 2015, it was obvious that the eyesore which cattle trading around Waterside Aba posed needed a decisive attention

2. In all honesty, what government sought to achieve was to relocate the (Ahia Udele) aka cattle market at Waterside to a more accommodating and accesible site where trading will be less hazardous and more environment friendly.

3. The menace of cattles, the indescriminate pollution of the Aba River and contamination of air became a huge source of worry.

4. Nearly everybody who lived in Aba, passed through waterside or voted for decent environment agreed that the famous “Ahia Udele” and it’s sister Cattle Trading site at Waterside were long over due for relocation.

5. The Muslim community led by *Chief Musa Alhaji Iheakaram and Chairman of Cattle Dealers Alhaji Ibrahim Njida* were desirous of ending the menace at Waterside provided government would graciously give them alternative place to continue trading peacefully like they had done in the over 50 years they have traded at Aba Waterside

6. By September 2016, government had through the Ministry of Lands inspected possible sites for relocation of the cattle market at Waterside.

7. All that part of land at Egbelu, Umuopara Obehie in Ukwa West Local Government contained in area measuring 107074.43 square meters was duly revoked by the State Government in Revocation Order 2017 for the purpose of relocating the Cattle Market at Waterside.

8. It is important to note that the proposed host community asked elaborate questions and were assured that the land in their community will serve the purpose of cattle trading, which that within Waterside has served over 50 (fifty) years.

9. The Okezie Ikpeazu led administration vehemently opposes the use of any part of land in Abia for the establishment of RUGA settlement, hence it’s prompt signing into law, the bill that sought to prohibit grazing and trekking of cattles in Abia.

10. What the Ministry of Trade and Investment proposed was a trading place more accommodating than what we had at Waterside, a market place that would offer opportunities to diverse allied produce as it is applicable in Umuchieze Cattle Market.

11. It is unfortunate that those who trade in rumour and false information would assume that a cattle market is same as RUGA settlement.

12. While we commend the Governor for mustering sufficient political will to recover Aba Waterside from years of menace, it is only acceptable that we support this germane effort that seeks to save lives, improve our hygiene and make trading less hazardous.

13. The relocation of Cattle Market from Aba Waterside to Obehie will beyond anything else ensure that motorists and pedestrians are saved from struggling with cattles every morning, afternoon and evening at Aba Waterside.

14. God bless us as we look beyond parochial interests and engage expansion investment that will attract merchandize across Abia and River-state

Attached Pix: site of present situation in waterside.

Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe Ph.D
Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Trade and Investment

Take RUGA to Sambisa forest, Obaseki tells FG

The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki said his administration will not avail the federal government land for the contentious Ruga settlement in Edo State.

The Governor spoke while giving a lecture on the topic “Challenges of Pastoralism and International Migration for Sustainable Peace and Development: Edo State Experience” at the Department of State Services Institute of Security Studies (Executive Intelligent Management Course 12), in Abuja.

He said the narrative that the pastoral movement and farmer/headers clashes are not related to the security challenges in Nigeria is not true.

His words: “In Edo State, we have found so-called herdsmen with maps in the forests, they clearly cannot be herdsmen who are dependent on their livelihood from their animal assets; that cannot be.

“I think it is important in the context of this discourse to make that distinction between conflict as a result of economic activities, separate from deliberate conflict that is related to other issues like insurgency and terrorism.”

The Governor said over the years the state has had issues of pastoralists or herdsmen who have come to parts of the South, Edo State using grazing routes and mixing with locals.

“Our approach is, animal husbandry is a business just like we have poultry, piggery or what have you, so from that perspective, we want to now upgrade agricultural practices as it relates to livestock.

“During the era of General Babangida, he set up ranches in Edo; we have one in Igarra and several parts of the state. They are either privatized or left fallow, so we are talking to people who purchased them to see how they can be re-activated.

“For us, because it is business like any other private business, the state should not really have much to except we create an enabling environment for those people we want to invest in livestock business.

“So, the issue of giving state land for livestock, it won’t happen in Edo State.

“However, for individuals who have land and they want to go into livestock business like we are supporting people who are doing cassava and others, we as government will support them.”

On how to resolve the incessant herders/farmers conflict, he said: “The Sambisa Grazing Reserve (4800 ha) is an ideal and symbolic place to take-off by establishing a ranch run by the military.

“It would significantly improve the security situation in the zone and encourage cooperation between pastoralists and the military.

” In the North West, the military should also be encouraged to create ranches in the Gidan Jaja Grazing Reserve (565,000 ha) for the same purpose of improving security and cooperation with pastoralists,” the Governor said.

Obaseki said violent extremism, recurrent herder-farmer conflicts, cattle rustling, armed banditry, violent cross-border crimes, insurgency, illegal migration and other forms of crimes have “threaten the fabric of our country. ”

According to him, national cohesion is seriously threatened by the conflict “as many farmers and pastoralists have lost their lives and property in several orgies of violence.

“As we gather here for this lecture, so many Nigerians are living in fear of attack or reprisal attacks due to the growing herders-farmers’ conflict,” he said.

Source: The Nation

No RUGA Settlement In Abia State – John Okiyi Kalu

Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, says there is no RUGA settlement existing anywhere in Abia State.

The Commissioner made the clarification while interacting with some journalists at International Conference Centre Umuahia, during the flagging-off of 2019 Farming Season held in the State.

According to the Commissioner “we do not have any RUGA settlement in Abia State and we do not intend to have RUGA settlements in Abia State. What we have are cattle markets such as the one at Lokpanta and Waterside Aba cattle market”. He said Abia State does not even have enough land for agriculture and other uses not to talk of ceding any part of the state for cattle colony or RUGA settlement

The State information boss regretted a statement recently credited to a former Governor of the State suggesting that the State has a RUGA settlement and made it categorically clear that “no cattle colony or RUGA exist in Abia State”. He explained that

cattle rearing is a private business and should strictly be seen in that light, maintaining that if cattle herders find Abia grasses good for their cattle, Abia farmers could grow the grasses the more and sell the grasses to them in exchange for money or cows. He emphasized that cattle owners are expected to transport their animals to the state using trailers or trains, when available, and offload same only inside the designated cattle markets in the state.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu revealed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has taken agriculture in the State to a higher level with many innovations introduced, including the new emphasis on value adding to primary agricultural products from the state, stating that hosting of the National Farming Season programme in the State is an acknowledgement of what the Governor has done in agriculture. According to him, Abia rice production has increased, more than four million tenera palm oil seedlings planted, mushroom farm graduates already making revenue and the state is set to launch a first of its kind agro-industrial cluster at Ubani Ibeku Umuahia.

He used the opportunity to inform Abia farmers that the state government would sustain and improve the needed financial support to them, in partnership with international donor agencies, CBN and Bank of Agriculture to ensure they produce enough food to sustain the people of the State and grow the economy.

Orji Kalu ‘confesses’ on how he brought RUGA to South-East

The Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has said that he pioneered “Ruga” in Abia State when he governed the state between 1999 to 2007.

The lawmaker, who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, at an interaction with the Senate Press Corps on Friday in Abuja, stressed that as governor, he provided land for Fulani settlement in Umuahia.

“I provided land for herders in Umuahia during my time as governor of Abia State where cattle were brought from the North for sale across the South-East and there were no problems.

“When the executive of Miyetti Allah approached my government, I chose where Shoprite is located now for them along the Port Harcourt expressway.

“One day, I took a 32-seater bus and I asked their executives to follow me to where I showed them and they agreed that it was appropriate for them and that was how I established RUGA.”

The Chief Whip also revealed that he trades in cows, saying that cow business is profiteering.

According to him, many Nigerian elite have cows and they are interested in that business, adding that it was wrong for people to see cow business as exclusively that of the Fulani.