The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has stated that major beneficiaries of cattle are domiciled in the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
South East is majorly dominated by the Igbos and the Secretary-General of the association Mr Usman Ngelzerma said the region and the South-South people benefit more from MACBAN’s business.
The federal government had said that the establishment of Ruga settlements would help bring an end to the menace of open grazing by herdsmen by putting an end to herdsmen-farmers clashes in the next five years.
All five South-east state governors, as well as governors Samuel Ortom of Benue, Darius Ishaku of Taraba and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo rejected the settlements.
Speaking on Channels’ Sunrise Daily, Ngelzerma said the Ruga settlements for herdsmen which are being considered by President Muhammadu Buhari was the responsibility of the government.
The APC-led government came up with the idea as one of the solutions to end the incessant herdsmen-farmers clash in some parts of the country.
The idea which has been condemned by the majority of the governors in the South-South and South East was described as a systematic way of “colonising” other parts of Nigeria.
But the secretary general of MACBAN likened the Ruga settlements to roads and other social amenities which are provided by the government.
“The settlement is one of the responsibilities of the government. We believe that anyone can’t take over any land in any state in Nigeria without the consent of the state governors. But the state governors can also work out a plan to commercialise it,” he said.
Apart from the ruga settlement, another issue that has dominated public discussion is the granting of operating licence by the National Broadcasting Commission for a proposed Fulani radio.
Nigerians and several groups like the Midwest Movement, an Edo/Delta group, said the plan should be implemented in areas and lands that belong to the herdsmen.