Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has warned the Federal Government against the proposed establishment of Ruga settlements across the country for herdsmen. Speaking at the launch of United Nations’ Solutions 17 SDG programme in Lagos on Tuesday July 2nd, Soyinka said the creation of RUGA settlements for herdsmen if not checked, will cause Nigeria to explode.
“RUGA is going to be an explosion if not handled with care. But why do we not take our policies from good models? This is not the way people and countries deal with issues of cattle.“I travel everywhere. It has to be handled in a way that is logical, comprehensible to the environment. When a cattle walks up to the window of my house in Abeokuta, a house which is located in a residential area, then there’s a problem. When cattle go to Ijebu Ode and eat up their plant seedlings and so on and you expect people to be quiet?”
He added that the manner in which President Buhari handled reports of the herdsmen attacks, was enough to have made him lose his re-election.
“President Buhari deserved to have lost the last election for the lackadaisical attitude he took to the issue of cattle rearing in the country.“People have been killed in hundreds just because of the failure of leadership at a critical time. And the cattle herders have been given a sense of impunity. They kill without any compunction, they drive away the farmers who have been contributing to the food solutions in the country, the cattle eat their crops and then you come up with Ruga.“I think that there is going to be trouble in this country if this Ruga thing is not handled imaginatively and with humanity as a priority. Any country where cattle takes priority over human life is definitely at an elementary stage,” he said.
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