Ruga Is One Silly Joke, Taken Too Far ~ By FCC Jones
By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones
I was expecting to hear that the RUGA story is another blackmail by the opposition against our President and our Party, but it is not, unfortunately. The Federal Government is planning once again to invest our money in making the trade of a group of private businessmen more convenient, to the detriment of some land owners.
I had wanted to keep quiet over this, considering that this is a policy being pursued by my Party, the APC, but I cannot, because I am first a human, an Igbo, an activist, before delving into politics. I cannot keep quiet over a sensitive issue as this one and come out tomorrow to claim to be a conscious Nigerian and expect to be taken seriously.
For one, I align with commentators who have argued that investing in RUGA or any other policy aimed at palliating herdsmen is ridiculous, at a time when other countries of the world are looking for ways to improve their technological industries and make living conditions more convenient for their people. It is shameful that my country hasn’t made any efforts to invest in exploring the moon, which was conquered about 50 years ago by another country.
It is shameful that our political leaders would travel abroad to access good healthcare, but are willing to spend billions of public funds on building cattle settlements instead of investing on ideas that would see Nigeria become a hub for healthcare tourism in the entire Africa.
Other countries are building ammunition that can scare the living hell out of other countries, while the others are investigating how to annex Mars, but my country is talking of building settlements for the same herdsmen who had slaughtered thousands of of innocent citizens of our country for no reason.
The RUGA idea is silly and must be discarded. At no time and in nowhere in our Constitution is cattle rearing a State business. Cattle rearing is as much a private venture as my filmmaking and paint making businesses. If the Federal Government has not thought about building a film village or at least, making it a State policy to sponsor every single movie I do, then, it is silly to think of building a settlement for herdsmen under whatever guise.
The Federal Government’s constant attempts at pacifying the terrorists among herders, presents it as either weak or supportive of the terrorist acts of these herdsmen. Why hasn’t the Federal Government thought of plans to accommodate oil bunkerers? Why hasn’t the government marked some coastal areas as safe havens for those engaged in oil bunkering.
Solving the herdsmen/ farmers’ clashes is very easy. The Federal Government should ban open grazing in any format and place stringent sanctions on anyone or group of people found to be involved in open grazing. Cattle owners who cannot ranch their cattle should quit the business and possibly hand over their herd to those who can ranch them.
Cattle rearing is a serious and highly profitable business and there is no justification for the government to try imposing its sponsorship in any guise on the people of Nigeria. If cattle herders cannot take care of their cattle, that they have to depend on free feed and free accommodation for their cattle, then, poultry owners, fish farmers, piggery entrepreneurs and indeed all farmers should be given settlements where they can get free food and free accommodation for their livestock.
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